The Dutch top swimmers are relieved that they have been able to train in the water again for a few weeks, but tournaments are currently missing on the calendar. Kira Toussaint takes into account that competitions will only be swimming in 2021. "I have to challenge myself to stay motivated."

From the European Long Course Swimming Championships, to the Olympic Games and the Short Course World Championships: the Dutch swimmers saw their main goals of the year moved one by one because of the corona crisis. Result: the 2020 match calendar is largely empty and the first major tournament will only follow in May 2021.

"I can say that I think it is fantastic to train every day for six months, but that is not the case. Swimming is fun for me because of the competitions and the challenges," says 26-year-old Toussaint at a press meeting at Papendal.

"I now notice that I am ready for competitions. On the day of an important final, I often wake up with a bit of a feeling in the nerves, sometimes so much that it makes me completely nauseous. But even that is missing me now."

Before the corona crisis, Toussaint was also in the form of her life. The backstroke specialist won five medals at the European Championship short course at the end of 2019 (including gold medals on the 50 and 100 meter back) and in that autumn further sharpened the Dutch records at those distances.

Kira Toussaint at a press meeting on Papendal. (Photo: Pro Shots)

Toussaint wants to close the gap with a world record

During the corona crisis, it was almost impossible for Toussaint to train in the Amsterdam Sloterparkbad for almost two months and she had to reluctantly try to keep fit while cycling and jogging - "I find cycling and running really terrible to do" - but that has did not make her doubt.

"I have often not been swimming for a longer period of time and my competitors were sitting or sitting with the same problem. I also have a step to make on the long track, so for me a year longer is actually not bad at all," said Toussaint, who sets itself concrete goals to stay motivated.

"I need that too. In December I swam seven hundredths above the world record on the 50 back short track (held in 2014 by Etiene Medeiros, ed.). Now I have said to my coach: I have to go for it. It helps me a lot to set those challenges, because I find it difficult to stay motivated for a very long period. "

Toussaint will in principle participate in the International Swimming League (ISL) in the autumn and before that she will swim (online) against an as yet unknown competitor, a project she has devised herself. "There is more and more perspective. In the past two months I sometimes thought: what am I doing here? But the last three weeks I am thinking: come on!"