EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, April 4. RANOMI Kromowidjojo was the highlight of the first day of competition at the Eindhoven Swim Cup, also doubling as the Dutch world championship trials.
Kromowidjojo won the 50 freestyle in a swift 24.30, setting herself up to claim this summer's world championship crown in the splash-and-dash event after claiming gold at last year's Olympics. In London, Kromowidjojo claimed the win with a 24.05. Placing second behind Kromowidjojo in Eindhoven was Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom with a 24.70, and Femke Heemskerk posted the other sub-25 second swim of the day with a 24.90 for third place.
Sebastien Verschuren, who represented Holland in the Olympic final of the men's 100 freestyle, qualified first in semifinals with a 49.18, well ahead of Great Britain's Robbie Renwick, who posted a 50.04 to go into Friday's finals as the second seed.
Sharon van Rouwendaal, who swam in the Olympic semifinal of the 200 backstroke, had a challenge for the win in Eindhoven by Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto, but gave the home crowd something to cheer for when she won with a 2:10.94. She swam a 2:09.50 last year to place 10th at the Olympics. Verraszto, known mostly for her individual medley prowess, placed second with a 2:11.33. Great Britain's Georgia Davies was third with a 2:13.01.
The 200 back might have taken some steam out of Verraszto, as she was unable to get on the podium in the women's 200 IM, which was won by countrywoman Zsuzsanna Jakabos with a 2:10.27. Hannah Miley of Great Britain presented a challenge on the breaststroke leg but faltered on the freestyle, placing second with a 2:12.04. Wendy van der Zanden got the home country on the podium with a 2:14.01, ahead of Verraszto's 2:14.50.
Great Britain scored its first win of the meet at the hands of Ryan Bennett, who won the men's 200 backstroke with a 2:00.95. Mattias Carlsson was second with a 2:02.46, while Finn Taylor placed third with a 2:07.62.
Sarah Sjostrom used her trademark strong second half to overpower Jemma Lowe in the 100 fly, winning with a 57.66 to Lowe's 58.57. Eszter Dara of Hungary was the only other swimmer under 1:00 in the final, placing third with a 59.21.
Tom Haffield of Great Britain won the men's 400 IM with a 4:29.04, ahead of Switzerland's Simon Rabold, who posted a 4:31.27. The bronze medal went to Great Britain's Lewis Smith, who swam a 4:33.94.
Russia's Andrey Govorov won the men's 50 butterfly with a 23.75 after posting a 23.72 in the semifinal earlier in the evening. Second place in the final went to Holland's Mike Marissen with a 23.88, and Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin, the co-runner up in the Olympic 100 fly, was third with a 23.96.