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Kromowidjojo Crackles Home In 53.30

Mar 18, 2012  - Craig Lord

Eindhoven's Ranomi Kromowidjojo clocked the fastest time in the world over 100m freestyle this year with a 53.30 blast on the final day of the Amsterdam Swim Cup. The Dutch selection for London 2012 will not be confirmed until after the Eindhoven last-chance saloon next month but Kromowidjojo's name is surely on a sprint free ticket or two.

Out in 26.26, Kromowidjojo was 0.15sec shy of club mate Marleen Veldhuis and ahead of Amsterdam's Femke Heemskerk, on 26.43. The home dash from the winner took her a league ahead with a 27.04 split, Veldhuis second in 54.42, Heemskerk third in 54.44. Kromowidjojo had given warning with a 54.10 heats swim.

The joyous truth for Kromowidjojo on the clock was clear on two fronts. If she did not quite match the stunning shiny homecoming split of 26.61 set by Britta Steffen (GER) on the way to that otherworldly 52.07 world mark at the Rome circus, the Dutch sprinter's second lap split was quicker than any other in the Rome 2009 final - and that delivered the second wave of good news: 53.31 had been her best ever, in shiny suit 2009, while 53.44 had been her textile best. The suit has been confined to the past for the top sprinter in The Netherlands. Veldhuis owns the Dutch record at 53.17 from 2009.

In the Shanghai 2011 world-title final, Kromowidjojo, coached by Jacco Verhaeren, was the fastest coming home with a 27.55, taking her from 7th to bronze and a fingernail behind winners who turned half a second ahead of her. When Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) clocked the best textile time ever in Kromowidjojo's home pool in Eindhoven in December, she split 26.13 and 26.92 for 53.05. In Rome 2009, turning in 25.5 or so was the norm, bringing it home all the easier for the buoy of suits. In Shanghai, those who turned at that speed finished about 1.5sec slower than Steffen in Rome. Striking the balance is where the race is at, the writing for London 2012 in the trend of splits. 

How Olympic season is shaping up (two per nation):

  • 53.05 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) December 2011
  • 53.30  Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED)
  • 53.57 Francesca Hallsall (GBR) 
  • 53.74 Melanie Schlanger (AUS)
  • 53.82 Cate Campbell (AUS) 

Sjostrom already has tickets to London 2012 and is set to race 100m, 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

In other action, Eindhoven's Sharon van Rouwendaal got inside London 2012 consideration time with a 2:10.35 victory in the 200m backstroke on the way to a home meet next month that will confirm the Dutch team for the Games his summer.

Visitors dominated elsewhere as the cup came to a close. Sweden's Stefan Nystrand won the freestyle dash in 22.20 and potential national teammate  Joline Hostman took the 200m breaststroke in 2:27.47. 

]The men's 200m butterfly produced a podium of visitors, Konstantinos Markozis of Olmpiakos in Greece getting the touch in 1:57.54, ahead of Nicolo Beni, of Livorno in Italy, on 1:58.42, with Greek teamster Stefanos Dimitriadis third in 1:59.61. If Dimitriadis was almost 3sec down on his Shanghai 2011 best, then Markozis, 20 this year, improved on a lifetime best of 1:58.57.