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BelgiumBelgium, BEL


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
21 January 1988
200 cm
Wife Elle, daughter Jutta [2017]
Antwerp, BEL
Dutch, English, French
Higher education
Engineering - Eindhoven University of Technology: Netherlands

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He got in the pool for the first time at age four in Beringen, Belgium.
Why this sport?
"I didn’t really like it and the trainers always thought it was going nowhere with me. I kept swimming because I could have some fun with my friends, be myself in and out of the water and participate in a couple of competitions."
Club / Team
BRABO: Antwerp, BEL
Name of coach
Ronald Gaastra [club], NED

International Debut

Competing for
European Championships
Eindhoven, NED

General Interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a silver medal in the 100m freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Facebook page, 18 Aug 2016)
Hero / Idol
Dutch swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband. (, 22 Jul 2017)
In July 2018 he was admitted to Antwerp University Hospital in Edegem, Belgium, with viral meningitis. He was forced to withdrew from the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, as a result. (, 31 Jul 2018;, 05 Aug 2018;, 31 Jul 2018)

He suffered the third collapsed lung of his career in November 2018. He first had a collapsed lung while sleeping in October 2013 but was able to compete and win a bronze medal at the 2013 European Short Course Championships in Herning, Denmark, two months later. He had surgery after suffering the same problem again in February 2014 and had made a full recovery by June 2014. (, 20 Nov 2018;, 18 Aug 2014;, 07 Feb 2014;, 31 Oct 2013)

He sustained a minor shoulder injury in April 2014. He was able to train again after a couple of days of rest. (, 10 Apr 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"With regard to performance, commitment, effort and dedication, there is no middle ground. You're in it for 100%, or not at all." (, 11 Aug 2019)
Awards and honours
He was voted the 2014 Sports Figure of the Year in the Antwerp province of Belgium. (, 12 Dec 2014)
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 20 Jul 2018)