Femke Heemskerk Given Hope to Race 50 Freestyle in Tokyo

Femke Heemskerk (photo: Mike Lewis)
Femke Heemskerk: Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Femke Heemskerk Given Hope to Race 50 Freestyle in Tokyo

Femke Heemskerk‘s hopes of competing in the 50 free at the Tokyo Games are still alive after the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB) upheld an appeal by the two-time Olympic relay medallist.

The 33-year-old had initially recorded the second-fastest qualification time for the one-length race to seemingly book her spot in the event in Tokyo when she went 24.77 at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

However, she was forced to miss the Rotterdam Qualification Meet in December after her partner tested positive for Covid-19 and looked on as Valerie van Roon went inside 25 seconds for the first time in 24.63 to claim the second spot and oust Heemskerk in the process.

Now the KNZB has ruled in favour of the two-time world relay champion and will reveal in the coming days how they intend to find a solution that will be satisfactory to all parties.

A statement on the governing body’s website read:

“In the disciplinary case regarding the qualification of the Olympic Games women’s 50m freestyle, Femke Heemskerk has been successful.

“Because Heemskerk was forced to miss the Rotterdam Qualification Meet (RQM) in December after her husband had tested positive for COVID-19, she felt that she deserved another chance at this (part). The disciplinary committee ruled in her favour today.

“The KNZB is now considering the decision and will come up with a response to the situation that has arisen within a few days.”

It has been a positive few days for Heemskerk who scorched to a speedy 53.76 in the 100 free at the Flanders Qualification Meet at the weekend.


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