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LONDON, England, August 1. THE Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo clocked a scintillating Olympic record in the women's 100-meter freestyle semifinals at the 2012 London Olympics.
Kromowidjojo blazed to a top-seeded time of 53.05, besting the Olympic record of 53.12 set by Britta Steffen of Germany at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kromowidjojo is in a good spot to join Rie Mastenbroek (1936) and Inge de Bruijn (2000) as the only swimmers from her country to have won gold in this event. She is also gunning for her first individual Olympic gold medal. She won as part of The Netherlands' winning 400 free relay in 2008, and helped the same squad to silver this year.
“I am feeling quite good,” Kromowidjojo said. “There was not much movement in the pool. I got out of the pool quickly because I have to get ready for the next race.”
Australia's Melanie Schlanger raced to second in 53.38 to move to 12th all time in the event's history. She's looking to add to Australia's five Olympic gold medals in the event, with the last victory by way of Jodie Henry in 2004.
“I'm not traditionally the fastest one out, so I'm going to use that to my advantage in the final,” Schlanger said. “I'll put my head down in the last few metres.”
USA's Missy Franklin threw down a 53.59 to qualify third, setting up yet another medal chance. She's already won the 100 back this week, and took bronze as part of the 400 meter freestyle relay. She still has four more medal chances to go as she tackles a seven-event schedule.
China's Tang Yi, who led semis with a swift 53.28, made the finale in 53.60, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray and Great Britain's Fran Halsall tied for fifth with matching 53.77s. Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia took seventh in 53.78, while USA's Jessica Hardy picked up the final transfer spot in 53.86.
“I'm going to do everything I can to fight tomorrow night and continue to drop my time and have fun with it,” Hardy said.
Defending champion Steffen missed finals with a 12th-place 54.18.
“I'm happy with the time,” Steffen said. “I did how I planned. I've improved through the heats. There are a lot of good people in the world's best. I'm sad that I didn't reach the final of course. I don't know why (I didn't reach it), I did everything 100% that I could. Now I'm looking forward to the 50m freestyle. I hope I can reach the final there.”
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