Sjostrom Semi Sets 2012 Best Of 53.29
Apr 12, 2012 - Craig Lord
Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) backed up the 53.05sec in which she claimed the fastest-ever 100m freestyle time in a textile suit last December with a 2012 world-leading 53.29 effort in semi-finals at the Eindhoven Swim Cup.
Sjostrom, who will take on the 100m and 200m freestyle and the 100m butterfly at London 2012 this summer, turned in 26.40, down on the speed of Dutch sprint rivals and Eindhoven teammates Ranomi Kromowidjojo (26.06), Marleen Veldhuis (26.05) and Inge Dekker (26.15).
On the way to the final, Kromowidjojo, who in March clocked 53.30 to take the helm of the early world rankings, hit the pad in 53.60, Marleen Veldhuis 54.15 and Dekker 54.43.
How Olympic season is shaping up, top 5:
On 53.84, Cate Campbell is the second Australian in the top 10 to date.
Sjostrom, coached by Carl Jenner in Stockholm, was racing in the Pieter Van den Hoogenband swim centre where it all began as far as international profile goes: in 2008, aged 14, she claimed the European 100m butterfly crown on her way to a maiden Olympics and the 2009 world title in 56.06 record time.
Her 53.05 on freestyle last December is the best ever in a women's textile-clad field, Libby Lenton (later Trickett), of Australia, having clocked 52.99 in a textile suit while racing the opening leg of a mixed relay in a lane next to Michael Phelps (USA) at the AUS Vs USA duel in April 2007. The time was not accepted as a world record under FINA rules.
In the men's 100m free semis, Sebastiaan Verschuren, of Amsterdam, led the way on 49.15 ahead of Sweden's Stefan Nystrand, on 49.46, and Belgium's Emmanuel Vanluchene, on 49.79.
At the last-chance London 2012 qualification meet for the Dutch, the women's 200m medley final was dominated by Wendy van der Zanden, of Eindhoven's Eiffel Swimmers PSV, in 2:13.14 (28.49, 1:01.88, 1:41.72), just 0.01sec shy of the Dutch record held by Femke Heemskerk and just over a second away from the cut for London 2012. Swedish visitor Martina Granstrom, of Jonkoping, clocked 2:17.01 for a distant silver.
While Van der Zanden fell shy of an Olympic ticket today she stepped up from a best time of 2:14.95, from last year, with a performance inside the passport pace to the European Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, next month.
Sebas van Lith and Mike Marissen, teammates in Drachten, finished top two in the men's 200m medley in respective times of 2:02.64 and 2:04.20, Amsterdam's Jens Bakker 0.06sec away from silver.
In other action, David Carry, of Britain's Stockport Intensive Training Centre, took an early lead on the way to a 3:50.52 win in the 400m freestyle on his journey to a June date in Sheffield and last-chance domestic trials to make the home squad for the London 2012 Games. Teenager Dion Dreesens, of Eindhoven finished second in 3:52.00. In the women's 400m teenager Julia Hassler, of Switzerland's Schwimmclub Uster Wallisellen, clocked 4:14.03 for victory.
The breaststroke dash events saw Sweden's Jennie Johansson, of Upsala, clock 31.52 to edge out Amsterdam's Moniek Nijhuis by 0.05sec, while Joao Gomes, of Pinheiros in Brazil, won the men's final in 27.82 ahead of Amsterdam's Lennart Stekelenburg, on 28.01, 0.05sec up on Eindhoven's Bram Dekker.