By Oene Rusticus
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, June 15. WITH the Dutch National Team for the European Championships in Budapest already selected, the Dutch Nationals were more like a training meet than real championship event. Nevertheless, the meet in the brand new pool in Eindhoven showed quite a few good races last weekend.
Olympic Champion Pieter van den Hoogenband won three events, the 50 freestyle (22.70) and 100 free (49.66) and the 100 butterfly (54.25) but still needs extra speed to hold of his international competitors in Budapest in little over a month. Meanwhile, Sebastiaan Verschuren was one of the stars of the meet after bettering the national record in the 800 freestyle by six seconds to 8:08.90. Verschuren will participate in both the European Junior Championships in Mallorca, Spain and the Europeans in Budapest this summer.
Robin van Aggele has made a choice to focus more on freestyle and breaststroke in preparation for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but beside the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke (29.00, 1:02.19 and 2:15.28) he also won the 50 and 200 fly (2:02.94), along with the 200 and 400 IM (2:07.15 and 4:32.57). Nick Driebergen swept all three backstroke events.
On the women’s side, it was Marleen Veldhuis who took home the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints (25.10 and 54.69), while Linda Bank beat the field in the distance freestyles (4:20.23 in the 400 and 9:07.57 in the 800). Femke Heemskerk won the 200 freestyle and the 200 IM.
The other events were left for the specialists in each stroke as Hinkelien Schreuder won the 50 and 100 backstroke (29.66 and 1:03.47), Inge Dekker the 100 and 200 butterfly (58.65 and 2:17.89), and Margriet Zwanenburg the 100 and 200 breaststroke (1:11.38 and 2:36.13).
The relay team of De Dolfijn from Amsterdam set a new Dutch record for club teams in the 800 freestyle relay (8:19.10). The team also won the 400 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay ahead of the home team, PSV Eindhoven.