Coach: 'Swim breakup won’t affect team'
AUSTRALIAN team director Jacco Verhaeren is adamant the relationship breakdown between swimmers Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin will have no negative effect on the Pan Pacific championship squad.
The Aussies leave their Cairns base to head to Japan tomorrow before a week-long staging camp in Nagaoka ahead of the August 8-14 Pan Pacs in Tokyo.
Seebohm joined the team training camp in Cairns on Wednesday, 10 days later than most of the squad after remaining in Brisbane following surgery on her horse.
The 26-year-old broke news of her split with Larkin on social media and has continued to make posts over the past fortnight, providing plenty of fodder for gossip columns.
But Verhaeren does not expect the public outpourings to have any impact on team unity.
"This team is very strong, every athlete including Mitch and Emily are very professional, so they're most committed to achieving their goals and dreams and nothing gets in the way of that," he said.
"On team, we keep private matters private and external matters external.
"We're really focused on performance, on training, so it's really as per usual."
Verhaeren said Seebohm's training had been uninterrupted in Brisbane and she had joined the team fit and ready to perform.
"She arrived on Wednesday and we had a good chat and she's been training very well and settling into the team," Verhaeren said.
"It's no different really to any other circumstances.
"She's a most respected team member.
"She's been making teams for over 10 years now so she knows what's happening and is settling in very quickly and enjoying the atmosphere at the moment."
A spotlight has been thrown on social media use over the past week given posts by Seebohm and American swimmer Ryan Lochte, who received a 14-month ban earlier this week after posting a picture of himself on Instagram receiving an illegal intravenous infusion.
"As in any campaign, we try to educate our people in clever and smart use of social media and media altogether," Verhaeren said.
"It's a great medium and it has its purpose but it has a big risk as well.
"With Ryan Lochte, that's very unfortunate, of course."