By Oene Rusticus
Zwemkroniek Online (http://www.zwemkroniek.com)
AMSTERDAM, March 18. DUTCH Olympic stars Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge De Bruijn turned in impressive times last weekend at the Amsterdam Swim Cup.
Their swims were even more impressive, as they were performed while the swimmers were still in heavy training, five weeks before the Dutch Long Course Nationals.
The first long course meet of this season, the Amsterdam Cup attarcted almost all of the top Dutch swimmers were present, including the Philips team from Eindhoven and TZA from Amsterdam.
Pieter van den Hoogenband started this two-day meet with an impressive 1:46.78 for the 200 meter freestyle, and a 22.72 at the 50, earning 1200 Euros as the outstanding male swimmer. "I’ve trained very hard lately. I haven’t prepared for this meet at all, and now I’m swimming 1:46.78. That is a time I’ve never swum before during a period of hard workouts. This gives me confidence. It’s time that I show myself again in Berlin at the European Championships. I want my world record back."
Not surprisingly, Inge de Bruijn was the outstanding female of the meet. At her first meet after the Europeans in Antwerp last December and a minor injury in January, she clocked 26.65 for the 50 fly. She also swam a solid 55.27 on the 100 freestyle. "I focused on a good race strategy during the freestyle, and that turned out quite well."
Other great performances were the 50 (24.54) and 100 (54.21) fly of Joris Keizer, and the 200 backstroke (2.02.82) of Klaas Erik Zwering, both swimmers from the Philips team. Ewout Holst (TZA) clocked 24.63 at the 50 fly. Suze Valen won the 50 backstroke in 29.66, before Hinkelien Schreuder (30.39) who swam 30.02 in the prelims already. Schreuder swam also 1.04.12 on the 100 back. All these swimmers qualified for the European Championships at Berlin this summer.
Michiel Bloem of the organising pro-swim team TZA was very satisfied with the results: "We had only a few months to organize this first edition of the Amsterdam Swim Cup. But yet, all the Dutch top swimmers were present, as well a few Belgian swimmers. Next year we'll have more time, and we'll want to make this a high quality International meet. We have a splendid accommodation for it".
Inge de Bruijn agrees with Bloem: "This new pool is superb," she said.