SCHOUTEN and HEEMSKERK are the young and old of the Netherlands team
GLASGOW - When Tes SCHOUTEN (NED) was seven, Femke HEEMSKERK was winning Olympic gold as a member of the Netherlands' 4x100m freestyle relay squad in Beijing in 2008.
Now, though, the pair are team-mates, SCHOUTEN the youngest member of the Netherlands squad, at 17, and HEEMSKERK the oldest, at 30.
SCHOUTEN will make her senior debut in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, a shock for the teenager who hated swimming as a child and only got involved because she wanted to be with her friends.
"I am not really expecting anything from here," she said. "I am just here and I want to be the best I can and do the best I can. I am just 17, I am here for the first time. I want to learn a lot from here, from everyone, from the big swimmers, but I am not expecting anything. I just want to have fun. Of course I want to swim well but we'll see what happens."
It is 13 years since HEEMSKERK made her senior bow at the 2005 world championships in Montreal, Canada since when she has won five Olympic, world and European titles.
She understands the benefit of experience in and out of the pool and the importance of consideration for others on the team regardless of age.
She said: "We don't have someone who takes the youngsters by the hand. It's more like we are just one team. We care. It's not that you have to be young to get a 'How are you doing?'.
"There are not so many eighties (swimmers born in the 1980s) left so sometimes it is confronting when you see someone racing next to you (who was born in) 2002 or 2000. I think the 2000 generation is a really strong one when you look around the world.
"But you can feel bad when you get beaten by a 16-year-old but I just try and turn it around. I think it is also pretty hard when you get beaten by a 30-year-old. I don't feel old. We joke about it - I'm the granny but it's your perception of being old."
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