Roos Vanotterdijk and Tatyana Lebrun are two young Belgian swimming talents of 17 years old. Both are present at the BOIC/BPC internship in Belek, Turkey. One is an Olympic swimmer, the other a Paralympic swimmer. They have taken the necessary steps again in the past year and will take them with them to 2023.

Tatyana Lebrun: “Learn how to cope with stress”

Tatyana Lebrun has had an important year. The para-swimmer was already there last year, at the age of 16, at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, but that adventure ended in disappointment.

“A lot has changed this year”, Lebrun looks back. “I have changed trainers.” She is now supported by Philippe Midrez, the technical director of the French-speaking Swimming Federation.

“I wanted that myself, because I used to be with an amateur club and nobody wanted to accompany me in competitions. I was a bit scared beforehand, but I managed to beat my personal best in the 100m breaststroke by 2 seconds this year. And that resulted in a World Cup medal. I also learned how to deal with stress.”

There will be another World Cup next year and the first two places will entitle them to a ticket for the Games in Paris.

Tatyana Lebrun, para-swimmer

The bronze medal at the World Cup in Madeira is a source of motivation for the swimmer from Liège.

“Next year there will be another World Cup and the first two places will entitle you to a ticket for the Games in Paris. If I don’t finish in the top 2, but swim the minimum, I will give Belgium a ticket, but not directly a ticket for me.”

Her first Games last year were a letdown. “I was still a kid, and actually I still am now,” she smiled.

“I wanted to enjoy Tokyo, but I hadn’t rested enough and was very nervous before my race. In the end I stayed 7 seconds above my personal best. It was a pity, but I don’t regret my participation. I have to do better in Paris.”

For Lebrun and the other Paralympic athletes it was the first introduction to the BOIC internship in Belek. “The facilities are great,” she added.

“I would like to have a swimming pool like here in Belgium. The fitness rooms are also very nice. The atmosphere between the athletes is very good. Everyone mixes with each other. You would say that you are at the Games.”

Continue reading after Instagram post.

Roos Vanotterdijk: “I focus on myself”

In addition to a final in the 100m butterfly during the European Championships in Rome, Vanotterdijk took two Belgian championship titles in the large pool and five in the small pool. She also won five medals at the European Junior Championships in Romania, including a gold medal in the 100m butterfly.

“It is difficult to choose one highlight from this season,” explains the water rat from Limburg. “The week at the European Junior Championships was excellent, not only
the results, but also the atmosphere with the team.”

The great promise of national swimming remains with both feet on the ground. “I don’t really think much about the outside expectations. I only think about myself. The fact that the results are there gives me confidence.”

“My senior European Championships were very positive. That shows that I belong there and I want to prove myself even more.”

I don’t really think much about the outside expectations. I only think of myself.

Roos Vanotterdijk, swimmer

Vanotterdijk will not participate in this year’s World Cup in small pool from December 13 to 18 in Australia.

“I prefer to concentrate on next season. It is bad now and the time and temperature difference is very large. I prefer to train in a large pool during this period and qualify for the 2023 World Cup.”

The World Cup would then be the ideal stepping stone to the Olympics in Paris 2024. The first participation in the BOIC internship is an extra source of motivation for the youngster.

“It is very pleasant to train and talk with other athletes here.”

Source: Sporza

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