Kira Toussaint will train in Tennessee via Paris, work as a volunteer assistant


Dutch Olympian and World Championship Medalist Kira Toussaint announced that she has committed to continue her training at the University of Tennessee, her alma mater, until the 2024 Olympics, while also working as a volunteer assistant in the college program.

Toussaint, who represented the Lady Vols in the NCAA for two seasons from 2015 to 2017, returned to Knoxville earlier this year ahead of the 2022 championship season.

After exhausting her NCAA eligibility in 2017, Toussaint returned to the Netherlands to train with the Dutch national team coach. Marc Faber.

The 28-year-old is coming off a solid summer in the pool, although she was unable to match her career best performances of 2021.

Toussaint won a bronze medal as a member of the Dutch mixed 400 medley relay at the 2022 World Championships, and also made two individual finals, placing sixth in the women’s 100 backstroke and eighth in the 50 backstroke.

Less than two months later at the European Championships, the Amstelveen native won bronze in the women’s 100 backstroke, placed fourth in the 50 backstroke and added two relay medals, including a gold in the 400m. mixed medley.

During her training under Faber in the Netherlands, Toussaint became one of the best female backstrokers in the world, including breaking the SCM 50 world record in the 2020 International Swimming League (ISL) season.

She was also a runner-up at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021, placing seventh in the women’s 100 backstroke. It was her second Olympic appearance, having represented the Netherlands in 2016, where she finished 18th in the 100m backstroke.

Collegially, Toussaint swam her first two NCAA seasons on the Gulf Coast of Florida, becoming an All-American and resetting many program records.

After the 2014-15 campaign, she transferred to Tennessee, where she earned eight more All-America honors while winning three SEC titles.

Under trainer Matt Kredichthere is a significant female professional group in Knoxville, mostly made up of former Lady Vols, including people like Erika Brown and Madeleine Banic.

A professional swimmer taking on a volunteer assistant coaching role through the college program is not uncommon, as it gives him greater latitude to travel and train with teams that would not necessarily be available to him as a postdoctoral fellow. Katie Ledeckyfor example, is a volunteer assistant with the Florida Gators.

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