By Oene Rusticus
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, April 4. NOW it's certain: Inge de Bruijn is
on track for the Olympics. During the final of the 100 freestyle of the last day of the Amsterdam Swim Cup, De Bruijn won the dual with Marleen Veldhuis and swam an impressive 54.09, after turning in 25.95. Inky hadn't been this fast since Sydney.
Veldhuis also swam a great time, clocking 54.87 after a split of 26.32 —
again a personal best time for the A finalist in Barcelona. Last December
she became US Open Champion on this event. Number three in Amsterdam was
Chantal Groot, who touched the pad in 56.13, just ahead of Inge Dekker (56.25), Paulina Barzycka (56.28) from Poland and Annabel Kosten (56.39).
Therese Alshammar scratched the 100 freestyle, in favor of the 50
backstroke. The Swedish sprinter finished first in 29.97, just ahead of
Stephanie Luiken (30.26) and Hinkelien Schreuder (30.57) from PSV Eindhoven.
Aleksandra Urbanczyk from Poland won the 400 IM, far ahead of the rest of
the field (4:50.91). Not surprisingly, her teammate Otylia Jedrzejczak, world record-holder and 2003 world champion, won the 200 butterfly in
2:10.68. Kara Nelson from Paul Bergen's Thunderbolts placed second in 2:19.19.
The men/s 50 freestyle was spectacular, Mark Foster from Great Britain
battled with the Dutch sprint elite, holders of the world best time in the
long course 4×50 freestyle relay.
Pieter van den Hoogenband touched the wall first in 22.56, notching his
third win of the meet. Foster just out-touched the number four from
Barcelona, Johan Kenkhuis, 22.82 to 22.84). Mark Veens closely followed with 22.95.
The final of the 200 backstroke featured a race between Lukasz Wojt and Sander Ganzevles, since Marco di Carli had been disqualified in the prelims. The Polish swimmer turned first at the 50 meter mark, but Ganzevles took over and led all the way to the finish. Ganzevles clocked 2:02.74, to 2:03.55 for Wojt.
The 100 breaststroke produced another fine dual between Thijs van Valkengoed and Alexander Dale Oen from Norway. Oen turned half a second faster than the Dutchman, but he couldn't keep Van Valkengoed behind him. Van Valkengoed finished first and clocked 1:03.05, to 1:03.26 for Oen.