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Kromowidjojo Dashes To Best: 24.24

Mar 16, 2012  - Craig Lord

Ranomi Kromowidjojo stormed to a 24.24 victory in the 50m freestyle at the Amsterdam Swim Cup, a Dutch Olympic qualifier, ahead of three of her Eiffel PSV Eindhoven teammates under the guidance of coach Jacco Verhaeren.

Comeback mum Marleen Veldhuis took second in 24.52 and looks a strong candidate for the second berth for The Netherlands at London 2012, with Inge Dekker, and Hinkelien Schreuder on 24.75 and 25.16 respectively. Dekker clocked 24.42 in the heats, while Veldhuis has a 24.39 on the books for Olympic season. A touch call being a Dutch sprinter - and more battles to come in Eindhoven next month.

The winning time is second best in the world this year after the 24.13 of Fran Halsall (GBR) at British trials in London last week. If the Brit's time matched Inge De Bruijn's all-time textile best from 2000 and was the best ever by a swimmer not wearing a bodysuit, then Kromowidjojo is catching up with the pace of the triple Olympic champion of Sydney 2000.

At 23.96 in the last rush of shiny season in 2009, Veldhuis holds the Dutch record, while Kromowidjojo's effort today marks her lifetime best in textile just inside a 24.27 from world titles last year.

Amsterdam's Feemke Heemskerk, who threatened the world order over 200m free with a 1:55.54 Dutch record on her way to the Shanghai 2011 world-title final, improved a touch on her 2012 form to secure Olympic selection with a 1:56.54 victory ahead of clubmate Elise Bouwens, 2:00.65, and a 2:00.98 for Hannah Miley, a world medley ace in race-practice mode a week after booking London 2012 berths over 200m and 400m at Britain's trials.

Heemskerk matched the pool record of 1:56.54 that she had held since shiny suited 2009. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) occupies the helm of the early 2012 world rankings on 1:55.23, with Allison Schmitt on 1:55.83 in January and Camille Muffat (FRA) on 1:55.99 in February, when Heemskerk clocked 1:56.78.

Job Kienhuis, of Eiffel, clocked 15:14.02 to win the 1500m free, the time 8sec outside the London 2012 cut but inside the time at which he will be considered for selection. 

Similarly, Nick Driebergen, of Amsterdam, was inside the consideration cut on 1:59.07 way out ahead in the 200m backstroke final, the speed of Dutch guarantee 1:57.93.

Amsterdam's Sebastiaan Verschuren missed the Olympic time limits but raced inside the cut for the European Championships in May with a 49.30 victory in the 100m freestyle ahead of visitors Stefan Nystrand (SWE), on 49.62, and Konrad Czerniak (POL) 49.66, with 20-year-old Christos Katrantzis (GRE) clocking 50.33  after a 49.95 lifetime best last month three years after last appearing in the world rankings as a 17-year-old on 50.95.

Another Greek visitor, Panagiotis Samilidis, 19, sliced 1.44sec off his lifetime best to set a pool record of 2:12.14 in the 200m breaststroke ahead of Lennart Stekelenburg, of Amsterdam, on 2:12.72, that just 0.02sec shy of Olympic consideration and a touch further away from a guaranteed place in London this summer. The two men raced together the whole way, Stekelenburg the leader at the 100m and 150m turns, Samilidis the winner of the last-lap sprint - and the race.

In the women's 200m butterfly 2004 Olympic champion Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL) set a pool mark of 2:10.30 to follow up on a sharper swim at the London 2012 test event in Britain last week. Second place went to Norway's Ingvild Snildal in 2:12.29.

In non-Olympic events, Joeri Verlinden, of Amsterdam, took the 'fly dash in 24.05, while Sweden's Jennie Johansson, after testing out the London 2012 pool last week, claimed the 50m breaststroke in 31.24, ahead of Amsterdam's Moniek Nijhuis, on 31.63.

Norway's Sara Nordenstam was the only sub-4:50 swimmer in the 400m medley, on 4:49.15.