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French swimmers at Bond in countdown to Paris Olympics

Director of the French swim team Jacco Verhaeren (centre) with swimmers Beryl Gastaldello, Maxime Grousset, Florent Manaudou and Yohann Ndoye-Brouard.

by Grace Knight

The French national swim team have held a training camp at Bond University ahead of the 2022 FINA World Short Course Championships. 

Although the World Championships kick off in Melbourne on Tuesday, team director Jacco Verhaeren selected Bond University as the best facility for the squad as they prepare to compete on the world stage.

Having travelled the globe throughout his career in professional swim coaching, Verhaeren’s decision to bring the team to the Bond University pool is a testament to the state-of-the-art facilities on campus. 

The Dutchman is familiar with Bond University from his time as head coach of the Australian Dolphins.

“By having access to Bond’s 25m pool in combination with the incredible gym, there really was no better place to prepare ourselves ahead of the competition,” Verhaeren said. 

“Obviously there’s many pools back home in France or facilities closer to Melbourne, but with the professional set-up here and the quality of the pool, everything that we’re going to see at the World Championships is already here at Bond.” 

Since their arrival last Friday, the French team have been making use of the facilities each day and will continue their training at Bond until their departure for Melbourne at the end of this week. 

French swimmers.

Three-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou was impressed with the facilities. 

“I think the training facilities here are no doubt the best that the French team have seen in a very long time so it’s really great to be here,” he said. 

“We don’t have these kinds of pools in France, so for us it’s pretty amazing.” 

The level of talent within the French team will be a force to be reckoned with as they compete against some of the world’s best in Melbourne next week. 

“I know the whole team are very excited to be here and for many of us, we’re also experiencing our first time in Australia,” Manaudou said.  

Verhaeren also highlighted that every event between now and 2024 will be critical moments for the team ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

“While it’s over a year away, the team is already in preparation for the Paris Olympics so they’re really training with the utmost professionalism,” Verhaeren said. 

“It will be really exciting for them to swim in an Olympics in their home country, so they all have a great deal of motivation for not only that, but every event between now and then.”

French swim team director Jacco Verhaeren.
 Jacco Verhaeren at Bond University.

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