By Phil Whitten
Dutch Olympic hopefuls Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge De Bruijn turned in some awe-inspiring times at the poorly-reported Dutch National Long Course Winter Championships last month in Eindhoven. Both swimmers were featured in the November 1999 issue of Swimming World.
Van den Hoogenband, who had already swum the world’s fastest 100m freestyle in 1999 when he won the European Championships in 48.47 seconds, lowered his time to 48.35, the second fastest time in history and a Dutch national record. Hoogie’s time surpassed Matt Biondi’s 48.42 from 1988 and now only Alex Popov’s 48.21 from 1994 is faster than the Dutchman’s swim in Eindhoven.
In 1999, Hoogie broke 49 seconds on three occasions, matching a feat first accomplished by Biondi in 1988 and equalled by Popov in 1996. However, the Dutchman’s three times in ’99 were faster, cumulatively, than either Biondi’s or Popov’s.
Hoogie also stroked a European and national record 1:46.58 in the 200m freestyle, bettering Giorgio Lamberti’s 1:46.69 which stood as the world record from 1989 until 1999. In ’99 three swimmers surpassed Lamberti: Ian Thorpe (1:46.00 WR), Hoogie (whose 1:46.58 makes him the second fastest man in history), and Australian Grant Hackett (who first broke Lamberti’s mark with his 1:46.67 last March).
Hoogie also won the 50 free (22.33) and 50 fly (23.96).
Inge De Bruijn, who trains in Oregon part of the year under coach Paul Bergen, set a national record in winning the women’s 100m freestyle in 54.79, second in 1999 only to Jenny Thompson’s 54.66. The European record is held by Germany’s Franziska van Almsick at 54.57. Inky, who already owned the world’s fastest time in ’99 in the 50 free at 24.84, took the 50 in 24.95, marking the fifth time she cracked the 25-second barrier in 1999, a feat no other woman has accomplsihed.
Inky racked up another national record in winning the 50 fly in 26.47, then added the 100 fly in a swift 59.14.
Other national records were set by Marcel Wouda in the 100 breast (1:02.45). Wouda wowed the Dutch crowd with three victories, also taking the 50 breast (28.90), 200 IM (2:02.08).
Other outstanding swims were turned in by Stefan Aartsen, who won the men’s 100 (54.23) and 200 fly (1:59.80) and Kirsten Vlieghuis, who took the women’s 200 (2:01.80) and 400 free (4:14.59).