By Oene Rusticus
ALPHEN A/D RIJN, NETHERLANDS, Dec. 7. IN the absence of many of the top Durch swimmers, who are preparing for the European Championships next week in Antwerp, the Dutch Short Course Nationals were a playground for the country's talented youngsters.
In particular, the swimmers from the new pro swim team in Amsterdam took advantage of the absence of stars such as Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn. Inky will only compete on the 100 fly on Saturday. (She swam 58.14 in prelims today.)
Seventeen year-old Hinkelien Schreuder won the 100m backstroke easily in a personal best time (30.43; 1.01.96), just above the national record. She placed second in the 200m IM (2.15.83), an event in which she will start at the EC next week. She was out-touched by her former teammate, Ilse Kevelham (2.15.68).
Chantal Groot is back at her old level after joining the team in Amsterdam, clocking 25.26 for her 50 freestyle, she qualified for the Worlds in Moscow next April.
Philips swimmer Klaas-Erik Zwering is back from an injury, and was the only swimmer below the 55 for the 100m backstroke (54.94).
As a contender for the European gold medal in the 4x50m freestyle, The Netherlands must have a few good sprinters. Only one was present at these Nationals, TZA-swimmer Johan Kenkhuis. He swam a decent 22.28 for the 50m free, an event in which he wants to final in Antwerp. Sprinter Mark Veens is still suffering from an injury and won't compete in the relay in Antwerp.
Also swimming for the profesional swim team in Amsterdam is Robin van Aggele. His goal this year are the European Youth Championships. His progression was the most impressive on this first day of the Nationals, a Dutch National Junior record was his reward at the 200m IM. With his 2.03.08 he also won the overall gold, defeating all of the senior swimmers.