The Netherlands’ Kira Toussaint, the current European record holder in the 50 backstroke in the short course and long course, has announced that she will be returning to Knoxville, Tennessee, to train with Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich. ahead of this summer’s league fixtures. This marks something of a homecoming for Toussaint as she competed collegially for the Tennessee Lady Vols for two seasons in the NCAA.
While competing collegiately for Tennessee, Toussaint was a CSCAA All American in 2016 and 2017 and qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics for the Netherlands. Shortly after exhausting her eligibility at the end of the 2017 season, Toussaint returned to the Netherlands to train with Dutch national team coach Mark Faber, who coached her for more than four years. .
Toussaint, 27, has become an international force in recent years under Faber. She broke the SCM 50 backstroke world record in the fall of 2020 in the ISL bubble in Budapest, and has been a mainstay in the London Roar backstroke group in the ISL for the past few seasons. She also broke the Dutch national records in the 50, 100 and 200 SCM backstroke and the 50 and 100 LCM backstroke while swimming with Faber. She was a finalist in the 100m backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, finishing 7th in 59.11.
Most recently, Toussaint won four medals at the 2021 World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi as a member of the Netherlands’ four 4×50 relays, including gold in the 4×50 mixed medley relay in championship record time. .
Toussaint transferred to Tennessee from Florida Gulf Coast University after the 2015 season. In his first two seasons of FGCU eligibility, Toussaint broke the program record in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 200 freestyle, and 100 butterfly and was All American in the 100 backstroke.
Kredich’s training base in Knoxville has a large women’s professional roster, made up mostly of former Tennessee swimmers. The headliner of the group is sprinter Erika Brownwho won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics as a member of the USA 4×100 freestyle relay, and Canadian Olympian Tess Cieplucha, who won gold in the 400 individual medley at the 2021 SC Worlds Several ISL athletes also call Knoxville home, including Energy Standard’s Madeleine Banic and DC Trident Ali Deloofwho competed collegially at the University of Michigan.
Toussaint is the daughter of Dutch swimming legend Jolanda de Rover, who won gold in the 200m backstroke at the 1984 Olympics.