Teenage swimming sensation Liesette Bruinsma is looking to make 2018 another successful year in the pool.
The two-time Rio 2016 gold medallist will kick off her season by competing at the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 2 and 4 March, which will be fundamental in her reaching her top form ahead of future events.
“I want to apply my focus on the training and the competition. I will learn a lot of things in the races for the next competitions,” she said.
“I motivate myself to give everything every time I swim a race. The biggest challenge is to improve myself every time, because I swim my own race. I also don’t underestimate my opponents.”
After a successful inaugural season in 2017, the World Series will return this year with competitions in six countries across Europe and the Americas.
Bruinsma broke onto the international scene by winning three gold medals, one silver and a bronze at the 2016 Europeans in Funchal, Portugal. In Rio, she won two golds, one silver and two bronze to gain newfound celebrity in her homeland.
“I am the same person as the time before the Paralympic Games. More people talk to me on the street, but most of the things are the same. There is also more media attention,” she said.
The added attention also includes being the subject of a documentary following her up to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“Jesse Bleekemolen is directing the documentary. It is in the first phase,” Bruinsma said.
In 2017, she continued her success by breaking two world records in the women’s 100m freestyle S11 and 200m freestyle S11.
“I learned a lot of things last season and made some progress in the training and competition. I will use this in the future,” Bruinsma said.
She also hopes the future will include standing on top of the podium again, whether at the World Series, the 2018 European Championships in Dublin, Ireland, from 13-19 August, the 2019 World Championships or Tokyo 2020.
“I will make some improvements on different things during the training sessions, but also outside of them. I think I’ll do that before the Paralympic Games,” she said.
The World Para Swimming World Series starts in Copenhagen from 2-4 March, while the European Championships will take place in Dublin between 13 and 19 August.