How would you say the overall performance of the group has been at Mom Meet?
Much better than in Antwerp (Flanders Cup, red.)! This Great Danes initiative will, without a doubt, be a long journey and a difficult, soul-searching process, but the Mom Meet at least got us beyond first base! In general the group were more skillful, more together, and much tougher, than previously.
How were their performances compared to Flanders Cup?
About two-thirds of the group swam well and performed more impressively than in January. Our medalists (Daniel Skaaning, Daniel Steen Andersen and Magnus Jakupsson) especially did a good job for the team. Some of the other swimmers were disappointing. All in all Marseilles was a bit of a mixed bag but an experience with a much more successful end-result and much more positive outcomes.
In which way did the boys live up to your demand for a more competitive mindset throughout the meet?
Well, I thought that they responded well. Just under half of the swims were within 2% of their personal best times, which was the yardstick that I had set at this early stage of the season. About 60% improved upon their heat seedings, and finished in a higher position. These are not brilliant figures but at least suggest that the programme is heading in the right direction.
My one criticism was that the swimmers often got themselves into good, and winning, positions only to lose in the last 15 to 20 metres. There is still an urgency for the Great Danes to ‘tough it out’ at the end of races. All Danish swim addicts will have been delighted at Daniel Skaaning’s win in the 200m individual medley, a race which he controlled from start to finish.
Besides Danish Open, what is the next “Great Danes-challenge”?
The next meet is in Bergen in May which will be short-course. After that, they will race as a group in the first 2 Mare Nostrum Meets – in Monaco and Canet. I will be hoping for a fully fit squad then and another progressive step forward! We need to keep the pressure on the Great Danes programme.