Sjostrom, Miley Set World Pace; Nijhuis NR
Apr 5, 2013 - Craig Lord
Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) roared in the den of the Dutch sprint queens once more today with a world-leading 1:56.55 in the 200m freestyle ahead of Femke Heemskerk, on 1:57.43 for a second ticket to world titles in Barcelona this summer. There was also a season world-leading 4:34. 21 from Britain Hannah Miley a second ahead of Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos in the 400IM.
Heemskerk, who clocked 1:57.51 in morning heats, was out first in 27.40, but by the 100m mark Sjostrom was ahead 56.83 to 57.43. The Dutch challenger piled on pressure down the third lap, Sjostrom holding on for the faster last-turn split in 1:27.34, 0.2sec up of Heemskerk. The Swedish fly and free ace had more in the tank on the way to the wall for victory by almost a second, her time clipping 0.15sec off what was her own world-leading time this season.
The bronze went to Evelym Verraszto (HUN) in 1:59.78, with backstroke specialist Sharon van Rouwendaal on 1:59.88 to provide the Dutch with a glimmer of hope as it builds a tougher 4x200m quartet, Rieneke Terink and Elise Bouwens just over the 2min mark.
Miley, racing for her Scottish club Garioch, claimed the helm of the 2013 world rankings over 400m medley with a 4:34.21 victory over Jakabos, for ANK Uszoklub Pecs, on 4:35.43. Anja Klinar, of the Czech club Plavalna, took third in 4:44.66. Jakabos led after 'fly (1:02.73 to 1:03.71), backstroke (2:11.99 to 2:13.75) but Miley struck back with a 1:17.74 split on breaststroke that left the gap 3:31.49 to 3:32.23 and extended her lead a touch on freestyle.
For Jakabos, the time set a personal best inside the 4:35.68 she clocked at European Championships a year ago.
The women's 100m breaststroke gave the home crowd reason to cheer: Moniek Nijhuis, of the National Training Centre, cracked the national record in 1:07.40, 0.01sec inside the standard she had held since the last shiny suit season in 2009, her drop that year from a 1:11.28 best in 2008. Time and much work has now seen the 24-year-old catch up on the clock, her gain today relatively far better than 0.01sec.
Nijhuis, out in 31.61, was followed him by Swedish visitor Joline Hostman, on 1:08.75, and German visitor Caroline Ruhnau, of Essen, on 1:09.20.
After a 24.73 national record and season world-leading blast in heats of the 50m backstroke, Bastiaan Lijesen took the final in a time just 0.01sec slower, while the women's backstroke dash went to Georgia Davies, of Britain, in 28.28, after a 28.21 heat.
Having already cracked the 2min mark in heats, Simon Sjoedin, of Sweden and SK Neptun, clocked 1:59.16 for victory in the 200m medley final ahead of respective efforts of 2:00.88 and 2:01.18 from Dutchmen Mike Marissen and Sebas Lith.
Tomas Havranek, of Czech club TJ Bohemians Praha (Prague), clocked 2:00.62 to win the 200m butterfly ahead of Cameron Brodie, of Stirling in Scotland, his 2:01.12 pipping Slovenian Robert Zbogar, of Plavalna swim club, by 0.07sec.
Brodie's teammate Ross Murdoch took the 100m breaststroke in 1:01.40, 0.12sec ahead of joint silver for Plavalna's Damir Dugonjic and Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr, racing for his club, Essen. Dutchmen Bram Dekker and Johannes Skagius were in the hunt on 1:01.84 and 1:01.95 respectively.
Tjasa Oder of the Czech club Plavalna was the last winner of the day among elite women, on 8:40.99 in the 800m freestyle. Isabelle Haerle, of Essen, won the 1500m timed final in the morning, on 16:26.36, Oder on 16:38.11.
Sebastiaan Verschuren kept at bay NTC teammate Dion Dreesens 49.08 to 49.73 in the 100m freestyle final, the bronze going to Kyle Stolk in 50.11 in a final that brought the elite events to a close. Two days down, two to go.