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Kromowidjojo Scorches A 53.44 100 Free

Mar 27, 2010  - Craig Lord

At the Amsterdam Cup today, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, of Eiffel Swimmers in Eindhoven, and Femke Heemskerk, of the Nationaal Zweminstituut Amsterdam, claimed the 100m free berths for The Netherlands at the European Championships in Budapest this August.

 Kromowidjojo's time was a stunner: 53.44 (off a 25.99 split), close to pre Feb 2008 world-record pace. Heemskerk clocked 54.44, off 26.28 at half-way, while world 100m 'fly champion Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) claimed third spot in 54.73 ahead of Inge Dekker, of Eiffel Swimmer, on 54.98. The fourth Dutchwoman home for the all-important 4x100m relay in the absence of Marleen Veldhuis this summer, was Ilse Kraaijeveld, of Orca, on 55.33.

A tight battle over 50m breaststroke between Lennart Stekelenburg, racing in his home pool at the Nationaal Zweminstituut Amsterdam, and Robin van Aggele, of De Amersfoortse Zwem en Polo Club,  resulted in both men booking tickets to the European Championships in Budapest come August.

 Just 0.08sec split the men, Stekelenburg the winner on 27.82, with third place going to French visitor from the CN Marseille club,  Giacomo Perez Dortona, on 28.43 ahead of training partner Maxime Bussiere, on 28.55, and 

Hendrik Feldwehr, of German club SG Essen, on 28.63. In prelims, Stekelenburg clocked 27.76 and van Aggele 27.83.

 If Feldwehr ended 2009 and the shiny suits era as the third fastest ever, on 26.83, the tapered Dutch duo were much closer to their lifetime bests, of 27.53 for van Aggele, and 27.63 for Stekelenburg. Dortona's best in 2009 was 27.36. 

Things will doubtless get tighter as the season heads for the sharp end but clearly race conditions have shifted, as expected: the world top 10 range so far this year is 27.40 to 28.30, compared to 27.25 to 27.86 a year ago. The shiny suits era ended with an all-time top 10 that ranged from 26.67 to 27.18.

Fabien Gilot got the better of a world-class line-up of freestyle sprinters, including Olympic 100m champion and French teammate Alain Bernard, with a 22.55sec effort over 50m, 10th best so far this year.

 Stefan Nystrand (SWE) also pipped Bernard, second and third on 22.67 and 22.76 respectively, with Steffen Deibler (GER) fourth in 22.85, and Jason Dunford (KEN) the only other man inside 23, on 22.94. On that list, Deibler is the only man who did not crack 22sec in the shiny suits era.

 The world ranking lists for 50m events so far this year reflect the new apparel regime in a starker way than most other events, even comparing the precise same time of the year: the top 10 ranges from 21.95 to 22.55 for 2010 right now, while by this time last year the top 10 annual range was 21.44 to 22.02. The all-time top 10 range at the end of the shiny suits era was 20.91 to 21.42. 

 In the 200m butterfly, world championship medallist of 2007, Kim Vandenberg, USA and CN Marseille, clocked 2:11.01 to get the better of Petra Granlund (SWE), on 2:12.57, with third place going to Martina van Berkel (SUI), on 2:14.61.

The equivalent race for men saw Simon Sjodin, Nystrand's training partner at SK Neptun in Sweden, fend off a challenge from Joeri Verlinden (NED),2:00.11 to 2:00.44, with Alexandre Liess taking another thired place for the Swiss team, on 2:01.66.

The 800m free for women went to Italy's Martina de Memme, in 8:48.88, while    French visitors claimed the 50m backstroke for men and the 200m medley for women. Camille Lacourt, of CN Marseille, clocked  25.03 to wion the back sprint ahead of top Dutchman Bastiaan Lijesen, of Eiffel Swimmers in Eindhovem on 25.51, with winner of the 200m at the meet, Nick Driebergen (NED) on 25.64.

France's Sophie De Ronchi, racing for her club, Es Massy Natation, clocked 2:15.80, a pool record, to win the short medley ahead of Dutch pair Lieke Verouden, on 2:16.44, and Kimberly Buys, on 2:19.38. In 4th place, Joelle Scheps, of the WVZ club, set a Dutch 18-year age-group record of 2:21.03.

In the 400m free for men, Arjen van der Meulen, of Eiffel Swimmers, and Luca Ferretti, of Italian club Nuoto Livorno, battled stroke for stroke, the Dutchman getting the touch by the end, 3:54.43 to 3:54.49.

Go to www.zwemkroniek.com for a full set of official results.

Day 1 action.

Day 2 action.