AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, November 10. SIDELINED by hernia surgery before last summer’s World Championships in Montreal, Dutch star Pieter van den Hoogenband is expected to make his return to the competitive ranks at the U.S. Open in early December. That competition, a long-course meet, is scheduled to be held at Auburn University.
The world-record holder in the 100 freestyle, van den Hoogenband was gearing up the World Champs last summer before his hernia condition surfaced. Rather than push the injury, Hoogie opted for surgery and missed a meet in which he would have challenged for gold in the 100 and 200 freestyle events. At the 2004 Olympic Games, van den Hoogenband was the gold medalist in the 100 free and took silver in the 200 free.
Aside from the news that van den Hoogenband is set to return to competition, the Netherlands announced the squad that will represent the nation at the European Short Course Championships. Marleen Veldhuis, one of the top female sprinters in the world, will lead the Dutch team. Following the European Champs, the Netherlands will announce its team for next year’s World Short Course Championships in Shanghai, China.
The team representing the Netherlands at the European Short Course Championships includes:
Men: Johan Kenkhuis, Mark Veens, Gijs Damen, Lennart Stekelenburg, Thijs van Valkengoed, Bastiaan Tamminga, Robin van Aggele, Patrick Martens, Alex Schelvis, Maarten van der Weijden and Mitja Zastrow.
Women: Marleen Veldhuis, Hinkelien Schreuder, Chantal Groot, Inge Dekker, Madelon Baans, Moniek Nijhuis, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk.
Oene Rusticus contributed to this report