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Dutch Delight In Eindhoven: WR s/c Relay

Dec 9, 2007  - Craig Lord

The last time a Dutch female quartet truly challenged for world supremacy over 4x100m freestyle when it really counted, Ada Kok was a twinkle in her father's eye as he gazed into the eyes of her mother not realising that a butterfly legend would come of it all.

The latest shift is not yet in the deeper-end of long-course swimming, but it may not be long: Eindhoven organisers at the Dutch Swimcup switched from long to short-course format for the world record attempt that saw Hinkelien Schreuder (53.40), Femke Heemskerk (52.95), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.88) and Marleen Veldhuis (51.62) fell an Aussie standard of some standing with a 3:30.85 that compared to the 3:31.66 that came from Libby Lenton (51.91), Melanie Schlanger (53.23), Shayne Reese (53.27) and Alice Mills (53.25).

The Dutch are not new to the short-course record, having held it at 3:33.32 before the Dolphins, the time of Inge Dekker (53.52), Schreuder (53.63), Chantal Groot (54.00) and Veldhuis (52.17) clocked at the 2006 world s/c championships.

Wiping three and a half seconds off a national standard that was already strong when Dekker is sitting on the deck offers the prospect of more to come in the near future - and watch for that long-course clash between the long-course world record holders, Germany and Holland back in Eindhoven next March at the European championships.

The best Dutch result at Olympic level since gold in Berlin 1936 were silvers in 1952, 1988 and 2000, the latter more than three seconds behind the USA at a time when Australia was sixth and still building up to better things.

The long-course Dutch Swimcup before the switch to short-course for the relay saw Veldhuis clock a Dutch long-course record of 53.58 over 100m freestyle, 0.12sec inside her best at Melbourne 2007.

Brent Hayden (CAN) came close to cracking his national record over 100m, the world champion sprinting to a 48.67 victory 0.24sec shy of best and ahead of Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED), on 48.78.

Randall Bal (USA) fall 0.04sec shy of Thomas Rupprath's world record over 50m backstroke, with a 24.84sec win.

Hannah Miley (GBR) concluded a year of record-breaking medley efforts with another new British standard over 400m, her 4:39.77 0.14sec inside the standard she set on the Mare Nostrum tour back in June.