At the Belgian Open Swimming Championships, hometown teenager Basten Caerts posted a 28.13 in the 50 breast, breaking the national record of 28.25.
Frederik deBurghgraeve, 1996 Olympic gold medalist, swam that 28.25 in late May of 1996– almost exactly twenty years ago, which was before Caerts was born.
Caerts was on a tear at this meet in the breaststrokes. He touched at 2:12.57 in the 200, which clears Jonas Coreelman‘s national record of 2:12.64, which was set two months ago.
Caerts also swam a time of 1:00.86 to win the 100 breast, which is just 26 hundredths off of deBurghgraeve’s national record of 1:00.60. That 1:00.60 was deBurghgraeve’s prelims 100 breast time at the 1996 Games, where he went on to win the gold medal. Meanwhile, Caerts was born in 1997 and is still in his teen years, and that record may well go down very soon..
Fanny Lecluyse was also formidable in the breaststroke this weekend- only competing in the 50 and 200, Lecluyse cracked out a 30.99 in the sprint and then touched at 2:26.05 in the longer race. She also touched first in the 400 IM (4:52.84), the only competitor under 5 minutes.
Some of Belgium’s best put up strong times in various sprint races at these championships. In the men’s 50 free, Jasper Aerents and Pieter Timmers tied for the win with twin 22.37’s, followed closely by Glenn Surgeloose at 22.45. At the recent European Champs in London, Timmers knocked out an impressive sub-48 freestyle anchor leg on a Belgian relay, while Surgeloose broke the 200 free national record.
It was Timmers who later won the 200 free with a convincing 1:47.34, ahead of club teammates Dieter Dekoninck (1:48.25) and Lorenz Weiremans (1:48.99). Surgeloose earned a win in the 50 fly, sprinting to a strong time of 23.85, while Aerents went on to win the 100 free (49.34) ahead of Dekoninck (49.61).
On the women’s side, Juliette Casini (who was born in 1997 like Caerts) took home three wins in the 50, 100, and 200 free. She touched at 25.85 in the 50, 56.13 in the 100, and 2:02.72 in the 200. She out-touched Kimberly Buys in the 50 free; Buys settled for 2nd with a 26.03.
Buys, the Belgian record holder in all backstroke events, the 50 and 100 fly, and the 100 free, took the 50 fly in 26.41. Casini was close to national records in the 50 free (25.37 by Jolien Sysmans) and Buys’ own record in the 100 free (55.53).
Two swimmers from Israel also found their way to the top of the podium this past weekend at these championships. David Gamburg won the 100 back (54.65), touching over two seconds ahead of 2nd place. Then, in the 200 fly, Keren Siebner swam a 2:11.36 to win the 200 fly.