Australia turn to Verhaeren
Jacco Verhaeren has been tasked with improving the fortunes of Australian swimming after being appointed as the national team's new head coach.
The Dutchman comes highly regarded having coached at the last five Olympic Games, while he is well remembered for guiding compatriots Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn to gold medals.
Swimming Australia President John Bertrand believes the arrival of Verhaeren is a massive coup.
"To be world best, we must search the world for the very best people and we believe we have done this in appointing Jacco Verhaeren as our new national head coach, to work with our existing world class athletes and coaches," said Bertrand.
Verhaeren will officially start his role in January ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next July and August.
The 44-year-old, who is currently the technical director of the Dutch Swimming Federation, said: "Australian swimming is extremely well respected on the international stage and to have the chance to work with the athletes and coaches in this role is humbling.
"In the Netherlands we are a small swimming nation that has worked hard technically to maximise every opportunity. We've had some success working on those technical elements and I hope to bring that focus and drive to this new role in Australia.
"To have the competitive edge in international swimming you have to combine the physical, psychological and technical components of our sport, and I'm looking forward to challenging and inspiring the athletes and the coaches to achieve their goals."
Verhaeren will succeed Leigh Nugent, who resigned from his post in March after a dismal Olympic campaign where Australia left London 2012 with just one gold medal, obtained in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.
The Australians made amends at the World Championships in Barcelona this year with three golds and 11 silvers although director of high performance Michael Scott, whom Verhaeren will work under, is keen for further improvement.
"To be world class we need to be world class in every element of the sport, and we know that there are technical areas that we can work on, and improve, to add to the physical strengths and skills that we already possess," he said.