PHOENIX, Arizona, April 16. RANOMI Kromowidjojo wasn't happy with just one textile best at the Eindhoven Swim Cup last weekend. Two days after the Dutch sprinter swam the fastest 100 freestyle in textile with a 53.75, she swam a 24.10 in the 50 free, which is now the 11th-fastest performance in history, and now the fastest ever done in a textile suit. Kromowidjojo was second in the 50 free at last summer's world championships and now goes into the Olympics as the favorite, though reigning Olympic champion Britta Steffen and reigning world champion Therese Alshammar have not shown their hands yet, and the Americans are two months away from the Olympic Trials.
Bruno Fratus is hoping to give Brazil a 1-2 punch in the men's 50 free, swimming a 21.87 on Sunday in Eindhoven. He's now fourth in the world this year. You can go to our world channel at swimmingworld.com to read recaps of all the events from Eindhoven, and to see race footage of Kromowidjojo's textile best swims.
The Chinese showed a big weakness in their men's synchro diving last weekend at the FINA world series meet in Moscow. The Chinese were unable to win a medal of any kind in both men's synchro events, which surprising since they always have little trouble getting on the podium. On Friday, they were shut out of the men's platform synchro event, and on Saturday they did not even compete in the men's three-meter synchro. That left the door open for the Russian duo of Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov, who won by 35 points over the Americans Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen. China was dominant in the remainder of the events, including the men's 10 meter event, which saw Lin Yue win by 26 points over Great Britain's Tom Daley. American David Boudia won bronze by three tenths of a point over Russia's Victor Minibaev.
Many of the divers competing in the world series will be competing in London in just about three months time, and some of them might be marching in the Olympics' opening ceremony. But the organizers of the opening ceremony are attempting to limit the number of participants in the parade of nations in an effort to reduce the time it takes for that part of the event. In Beijing, for example, the parade lasted two hours. London organizers want that reduced to 90 minutes. Swimmers have, for the most part, historically not participated in the parade, since competition for them begins the following day. Great Britain's swim team has already announced that they will not be marching in the ceremony.
The South African Olympic Trials began earlier today in Durban, and Chad Le Clos got things rolling with a 4:13.86, which was enough to get under the FINA A standard. Le Clos is a likely Olympic finalist in this event, and is probably not fully rested for the meet. Cameron van der Burgh has been third in the 100 breast at the past two world championships, and will be looking to put himself in the race for medals in London. Darian Townsend and Sebastien Rousseau could give South Africa a strong presence in the 200 IM, and we can't forget about that men's 400 freestyle relay, which was in medal contention at last summer's worlds … until the anchor leg. We'll be following the meet for you and will have results on swimmingworld.com.