Schoenmaker’s return to form ahead of home Euros

Dutchman Michael Schoenmaker grabbed the men’s 200m freestyle world No.1 sport in April, taking nearly six seconds off his London 2012 time. 01 Aug 2014
A swimmer clenches his fists in delight after winning gold at London 2012.

The Netherlands' Michael Schoenmaker celebrates winning 50m breastroke gold at London 2012 and has since returned to form over the longer distances.

By By Ryan Hills | For the IPC

“Whilst I wish them all the best, I will be prepared to beat them.”

Dutchman Michael Schoenmaker is relishing competing in front of a home crowd at the 2014 IPC Swimming Euros from 4-10 August in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, having claimed the world No.1 in the 200m freestyle S4 after taking nearly six seconds off his time from London 2012.

“It really means a lot for the Championships to come to my country,” he said. “I love swimming, and I love to do it for my fellow countrymen, and having it here is the best way to put our swimmers on a national podium. Of course, I can also hope that being at home will bring me a little bit of an advantage.”

The 31-year-old posted 3:12.22 in the 200m free at the last Paralympic Games, finishing nearly 14 seconds off the pace of Mexican gold medallist Gustavo Sanchez Martinez to touch in seventh. At that time, he was more successful in the sprint events, collecting a gold in the 50m breaststroke S3.

But at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, he had worked his way up to bronze medal position over the longer distance. There, he beat French Paralympic silver medallist David Smetanine to the medals. This marked a return to the same position from the Euros in 2011 but with an even quicker time.

By April 2014 he had posted a personal best of 3:06.27. He is currently also ranked second for the 100m freestyle, and third for the 50m breaststroke SB3.

At Eindhoven 2014, Schoenmaker will face no less than three swimmers who could dash his medal hopes. In addition to Smetanine, Slovenia’s double world champion Darko Duric has stated his desire for his first European medal and Spain’s seven-time world champion Richard Oribe has returned this season after injury in 2013.

Duric beat Schoenmaker to the wall in Montreal to take silver in the 200m free, whilst Spain’s Richard Oribe is the bronze medallist from London.

“I'm very confident about my swimming right now. I've trained hard, I'm in good shape, but so are all of my colleagues. It comes down to just me, it's down to me to get the victories because only I can influence my performances,” Schoenmaker said. “I have great respect for my colleagues, and I know they have all done the hard work and are ready for Eindhoven.”

“Whilst I wish them all the best, I will be prepared to beat them.”

The 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships run from 4-10 August in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and will feature nearly 400 swimmers from 37 countries.

Tickets are still available at, as well as high quality photos of the event.

All morning and evening sessions will be livestreamed at www.ParalympicSport.TV and live results will be available at the Eindhoven 2014 website.

Live updates will be posted to IPC Swimming's Facebook and Twitter or search #Eindhoven2014.