Marrit Steenbergen is a Dutch world champion. She rose to prominence young, swimming free on Dutch Relays. Steenbergen has risen to individual prominence since 2021 on the back of her sprint free and medley.
In 2014, Steenbergen won the 100 free (LCM) at the Netherlands Junior Championships, setting both the 14-year-old national record. Her prior best time of 57.81, which was the Dutch 13-year-old record, was smashed by her 57.32.
Later that year, Steenbergen impressed at Dutch Short Course Nationals. She broke two of the Netherlands’ national age records. She won the B final of the 100 free in 54.57 and then broke another age record in the 200 IM (2:15.86).
To kick off 2015, Steenbergen took the 100 free at a meet in Drachten. Steenbergen’s winning time of 55.91 set a new Dutch age group mark. Steenbergen destroyed her best of 56.93. Steenbergen kept rolling with massive bests of 25.34 in the 50, 54.07 in the 100, and 1:59.29 in the 200 breaking the 15-year-old records in all three events at the 2015 Dutch Junior and Youth Championships in Eindhoven.
Towards the end of the year, Steenbergen ignited again in short course with a 1:55.91 200 free on the first day of the Dutch Short Course Championships. Steenbergen set her second youth national record of the meet hitting the wall in a time of 53.35 in the 100 free. She set the 50 freestyle youth national record in prelims (25.02). She also set a youth national mark in the 100 IM, winning the event by almost two seconds and finishing in a time of 59.87. Steenbergen was named to the Dutch team for SC Euros in the 50/100/200 free and 100 IM.
In late 2016, she crushed a 25.03 50 free, 1:56.32 200 free, and 59.89 100 IM at the Netherlands Short Course Open Championships. All three swims were 16-year age group records. Shifting back to long-course racing right after SC Worlds, Steenbergen broke more 16-year age records with 25.68/54.46 50/100 free in December.
Steenbergen, 17, posted a 1:57.28 200 free at the Eindhoven Cup in April 2017. Steenbergen’s big swim came when she posted yet another Dutch 17 y/o age group record with a time of 53.98, .01 off of her lifetime best from 2015. Steenbergen was selected for both the worlds and Jr Euros teams. She joined the Eindhoven National Training Center in the fall of 2017 under Head Coach Marcel Wouda.
At the Amsterdam Swim Cup, she took the women’s 100m IM with a 59.53 to establish a new Dutch age record for 18-year-olds. A few months later at the 2017 Dutch Short Course Nationals, Steenbergen posted a new 18 y/o Dutch age record, with a 2:12.72 200 IM.
European Games (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Steenbergen blew away the field at the 2015 European Game to earn the top qualifying spot in the women’s 100 freestyle. She nearly broke the Junior World Record with her time of 53.97 in semis. She matched her time to take gold in the final. After lax prelims and semifinals of the 200 free, Steenbergen took silver with a 1:58.99 best time. In the 50 free semis, Steenbergen neared her best with a 25.56 before she dropped a 25.27 for another silver.
2015 FINA World Championships (Kazan, Russia)
In her first senior-level competition, Steenbergen helped the Dutch women’s 4×100 free team qualify third for the finals with a 54.72. In the finals, Steenbergen stepped up with a 53.88. The Dutch took silver. The swim made Steenbergen the first swimming world championship medalist in history to be born in the 2000s at the young age of 15. She also swam on the prelims of the silver-winning Dutch mixed 4×100 free relay.
2015 LEN European Short Course Championships (Netanya, Israel)
Steenbergen took bronze in the 100 IM with a 59.00. She withdrew from the 100 free in preparation for the 100 IM. She also earned gold and silver on the prelims 4×50 medley and 4×50 free women’s relays respectively.
2016 Eindhoven Swim Cup (Eindhove, the Netherlands)
At the 2016 Eindhoven Swim Cup which also served as Dutch Championships, Steenbergen was on point. She posted a 1:57.95 200 free to lead off a team made up of other Dutch National Team members to help the Dutch clinch an Olympic berth in the 4×200 free. In the 200 IM, Steenbergen was the top qualifier in 2:14.02, a new National Youth Record. She scratched the final for the 200 free final. In the 200 free, she bested her own youth national record with a 1:57.87 for 3rd. She also posted a 54.43 in the final for 3rd and a FINA “A” cut. Her swims qualified her for European Championships, the final meet for Dutch swimmers to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
2016 European Championships (London, UK)
The same 4×100 free relay that won silver at worlds teamed up again, albeit in a different, order to take gold with a strong 3:33.80. Steenbergen split 53.82. Steenbergen posted 25.90/55.37/2:01.32 50/100/200 frees and a 2:16.35 200 IM. The Dutch team then headed to a series of training camps in preparation for the Olympic Games.
2016 Olympic Games (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
Steenbergen was named to both Dutch freestyle relays and the 200 IM for the 17-strong Dutch Olympic Squad. She stepped up in a big way with a 53.31 free split on the prelims 4×100 relay team. The swim earned Steenbergen a spot on the 5th-seeded finals team. In the final, led the relay off in 54.29 before the remaining team of Heemskerk, Dekker, and Kromo brought it home for a disappointing fourth-place finish. She then led off the Dutch 4×200 free relay in prelims at 2:00.80. The team failed to qualify for the finals, adding significantly from the 7:52.06 the Dutch posted at the Eindhoven Swim Cup; that time would have qualified the team for the finals. In the 200 IM, Steenberge finished 34th with a 2:16.59.
2016 FINA Short Course World Championships (Windsor, Canada)
Steenbergen qualified for the 100/200 free and 100 IM through her efforts across the past year. Steenbergen missed out on finals in the 100 and 200 free, posting a 54.12 and a 1:56.59 respectively. The 100 IM was a different story. In prelims, she posted a 59.82 to make semis in 6th position. In semis, she posted a 59.33 to take 2nd in her semifinal and 4th across both. In the final, she notched a huge 58.81 to place 4th in the final, her highest individual finish at a world championship to this point. Her high point came from the women’s 4×100 free relay where she posted a 53.17 in the finals to help the Dutch claim bronze in the event.
2017 European Junior Championships (Netanya, Israel)
Steenbergen took the top seed in the 100 free on day 1 with a tepid 55.37. On night 1, she signaled her form with a 53.37 anchor in the 4×100 free to claim silver for the Netherlands. She also posted a semifinal-leading 55.38 in the 100 free in the same session. In the final, she took gold with a swift 54.13. In the 200 free Steenbergen made the 200 free semi-finals in the 8th-seeded spot in a time of 2:02.57 before falling to 16th in the semi-finals (2:04.45). In the 200 IM, Steenbergen took another gold with a 2:13.69.
Following a successful meet, Steenbergen withdrew herself from the Netherlands’ World Championships roster. Originally lined up to swim the 200m freestyle individually and as a part of the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, she said she is ‘taking a rest after the successful EJC in Netanya’, according to the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation.
2019 Dutch Open Championships
After a quiet 2018 from a combination of a shoulder injury and finishing schooling, Steenbergen made her return to racing at the 2019 Dutch Open Championships where she took silver in the 100 free with a quiet 56.09.
2020 HPC Invitational
After three years of what was essentially no swimming, Steenbergen reared her head again at the 2020 HPC Invite (SCM). Now at 20 years of age, her 24.59 50m free time overtook her previous PB of 24.92 logged way back in 2017. Additionally, her 53.13 outing was also a new carer-quickest. Finally, here 58.95 100m IM represents her 2nd fastest time ever.
2020 Netherlands National Team Training Meet
Steenbergen returned to the long pool at an internal training meet for Dutch National teamers in Eindhoven. She posted a 25.74 50 free and 54.75 100 free
Wouda Cup (SCM)
Steenbergen established a new personal best in the 200 free, winning the race with a 1:54.03. The swim was a marked improvement from her previous best, which has stood at 1:55.91 since 2015.
2021 LEN European Aquatics Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
On the first morning, Steenbergen showed she was back and earned a finals spot on the Dutch women’s 4×100 freestyle relay with a 53.95 split. She added a bit with a 54.13 split in the finals as the Netherlands took silver behind the Brits. On the morning team for the Dutch mixed 4×100 free relay, Steenbergen posted a 54.04 split. The Netherlands’ team grabbed silver in the final.
2020(1) Olympic Games (Tokyo, Japan)
Steenbergen qualified as a relay-only swimmer for the Dutch 4×100 free relay. This was her second Olympics. The Dutch team of Kim Busch, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Steenbergen, and Femke Heemskerk took second in the heats on the back of a stunning 51.90 split from Heemskerk. Steenbergen split 54.32. Kira Toussaint replaced Steenbergen in the final where they place 4th.
2021 LEN European Short Course Championships (Kazan, Russia)
Steenebergen was named to the Dutch roster for her classic 50/100/200 free and 100 IM combo. Both Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk, who between them have won 40 short course Euros medals, were not put on the roster. In the 100 IM, Steenbergen cruised through prelims with a 59.08 followed by a strong 58.41 to take 2nd across the semifinals. The next morning, she clocked a 52.62 100 free the claim the 2nd seed out of prelims. That night she scorched a 52.21 in the 100 free semifinals. The time was just .01 off leader Sarah Sjoestroem who she faced off against just one event later courtesy of the 100 IM final.
Despite the tight turnaround, Steenbergen posted a lifetime-best 58.15 in the 100 IM final but fell to 4th. The next night, Steenbergen posted another lifetime best and claimed bronze with a 51.92. In the morning of the next day, Steenebergn led the 200 free prelims with a 1:54.80. That night she swam a 1:53.48 in the semifinals to maintain her top spot. In the final, Steenbergen dropped even more time convincingly win Gold with a 1:52.75, her first individual win at a senior international meet. With her swims, she dropped a large amount of time off her previous best of 1:54.03.
2021 FINA Short Course World Championships (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
The Dutch led the prelims of the women’s 4×100 free relay on day 1. Steenbergen posted a 52.13 split. Steenbergen also snuck into the final of the 200 free in 8th with a 1:54.70. In the 200 free final, she posted a 1:54.32 for 7th overall. She came through in a big way on the Dutch Women’s 4×100 free with a 51.76 split. The team placed 4th with a 3:28.86, just .06 off the 3rd-place Swedes.
In the 100 IM, Steenbergen ended up 6th in the 100 IM final, shaving off just .01 from semis with a 58.74. A relaxed prelims of the 100 free saw Steenbergen sit all the way down at 13th. She cranked it up in the semifinals with a 52.29 to tie for 5th with American Abbey Weitzeil. She fell to 8th in the final with a 52.40. In the Women’s 4×100 medley, she anchored in 51.98 as the team placed 6th. She Earned a bronze as part of the prelims of the Dutch Women’s 4×50 free relay.
2022 Eindhoven Qualification Meet
Steenbergen took the wins in the 100 (54.26) and 200 free (1:58.30). Though she won the 100 free, Steenbergen missed the qualification time for the 2022 World Championships. She was selected for the 200 free and 200 IM for the meet. This was the first world championships in 15 years where the Dutch relays did not have Kromowidjojo or Heemskerk which made Steenbergen’s presence all the more important.
2022 Mare Nostrum Tour
At the Monaco stop of the Mare Nostrum tour, Steenbergen showed her form. She posted a 1:58.93 to mark the only woman under 2:00 in the 200 free while in the 200 IM she posted a 2:12.22 to lead the field. In Barcelona, she won the 100 free in 54.16 while in Canet she posted a 54.19 100 free and a 2:12.65 200 IM.
2022 FINA World Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
In the very first event: the 200 IM, Steenbergen posted a 2:10.60 lifetime best for 5th in prelims. One of only 3 sub-53 splits in the prelims of the women’s 4×100 free relay came courtesy of Steenbergen, who proved that Dutch sprinting was not dead after all as the team qualified 6th. A bit off that night, she posted a 2:11.20 200 IM in semis to find herself out of the final in 10th. However, she led off with 53.41 in the women’s 4×100 free relay as the team fell to 7th. In the 200 free prelims, Steenbergen qualified for semis in 13th with a 1:58.33 but fell the 15th in the semifinal with a 1:58.93.
The Dutch mixed 4×100 medley relay claimed an impressive 2nd seed in the finals. Their team of Kira Toussaint (1:00.45), Arno Kamminga (58.70), Nyls Korstanje (51.12), and Steenbergen (53.21) would have caught the U.S. after the breaststroke and would have been neck-and-neck with them until the end had they been in the same heat. In the final, Steenbergen was the fastest woman on the anchor in 52.55 for the Dutch, earning them bronze in 3:41.54, just .2 back of the silver-winning Aussies.
In the 100 free, Steenbergen posted a relaxed 54.13 for 7th in the prelims but after some blazing relay splits, she was only able to muster a 54.11 in semis, placing 11th. In the mixed 4×100 free relay, Steenbergen anchored in 53.06 to help the Dutch secure the 4th seed for finals. In the final, Steenbergen had some relay heroics as she threw down a 52.60 to bring the Dutch up from seventh to fifth place on the final leg.
The Netherlands’ women’s 4×100 medley relay qualified 2nd with a 3:57.48. Steenbergen posted a 53.45 anchor. In the final, they were able to drop a further .24 seconds but fell to 5th as Steenbergen replicated her exact split from prelims.
2022 Speedo Fast Water Meet (SCM)
Steenbergen produced a mark of 52.43 to take the women’s 100 free. She also posted a 2:08.70 200 IM, 1:54.26 200 free, and 58.89 100 IM.
2022 European Championships (Rome, Italy)
Steenbergen cruised the prelims of the 100 free with a 54.22. In the semifinals, she posted a stronger 53.80 before out-dueling Freya Anderson (1:56.26 to Anderson’s 1:57.02) on the anchor leg to give the Dutch 4×200 relay victory in 7:54.07, their first-ever title in this event. The swim undercuts her best relay split time prior to today: a 1:58.04, and is well under her best of her best time of 1:57.28 from 2017.
On night 2 Steenbergen pulled away from Charlotte Bonnet down the stretch to win gold in the women’s 100 freestyle. Steenbergen produced a time of 53.24, knocking off her previous best from Worlds. She came home in a field-leading 27.33. The night wasn’t done yet as she came through with a clutch 52.33 anchor as the Netherlands cruised to victory by nearly two seconds in 3:41.73 in the mixed 4×100 medley relay.
After her remarkable night, Steenbergen relaxed the next morning to take the 6th seed in 200 free. Steenbergen clearly saved her energy for the night where she posted a field leading 1:57.40 200 free in semis. Continuing her form into the 4×100 mixed free relay, she anchored in 52.90.
The Dutch claimed another bronze courtesy of the women’s 4×100 free relay. Steenbergen posted a 53.02 anchor.
To quote Steenbergen after her 200 free on night 4 “this is a PB and a gold, what else do you need?” She was able to produce a field-topping 1:56.36 to take the win and score a new personal best, her first in the event since 2017.
Steenbergen qualified through to the semifinal for the 200 IM with a mild 2:15.05. She was 2:12.31 in semis before bringing the heat in the final with a 2:11.14 for 2nd behind Anastasia Gorbanko.
On the final night, the Netherlands claimed bronze in the women’s 4×100 medley relay. Steenbergen dropped a sizzling 52.23 anchor leg to give the Dutch the bronze medal in a time of 3:57.01 as they broke their National Record of 3:57.24 set at 2022 Worlds.
For her remarkable 7 medals: 4 Gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze, Steenebregen won SwimSwam’s Women’s Swimmer of the Meet and thanks to her strong relay performances, the Netherlands won Women’s Nation of the Meet, and Steenbergen won Women’s Breakout Swimmer of the Meet. Steenebergen showed she looks to be the new standard bearer for the famed Dutch women’s sprint group.
2022 Rotterdam Qualification Meet
Quickly switching over to long course for the 2022 Rotterdam Qualification Meet during the short course season, Steenbergen posted remarkable times. She topped Freya Anderson in the 200 free with a 1:57.02. She also neared her personal best in the 100 free with a 53.61. She captured another title with a 24.89 50 free.
2022 FINA Short Course World Championships (Melbourne, Australia)
Steenebergen moved through the 200 IM prelims with a 2:06.01 for 3rd. She showed her closing speed with a 30.01 last 50. In the same session, she anchored the women’s 4×100 free relay with a 51.72 as the Dutch claimed the 2nd seed. Despite the tough double that night, Steenbergen held up well in the finals. She dropped to a 2:04.94 200 IM for 4th and posted a ridiculous 50.91 100 free anchor dwarfed only by Emma McKeon’s 49.96. The split was not enough to bring the Dutch into medaling as they placed 5th.
The next morning she posted a smooth 52.23 for 2nd in the 100 free prelims and a 1:55.16 200 free split. She neared her best time with a 51.85 in the semifinal and ended her 2nd day with a huge 1:51.94 200 free split as the Dutch 4×200 free placed 4th. The split was the only one in the field under 1:52.
Steenbergen cruised through the 100 IM prelims with a 58.87. In the finals of night 3, Steenbergen took on another tough double with the 100 free final and 100 IM semifinal. Steenbergen’s new personal best of 51.25 renders her the Netherlands’ #2 100 freestyler all-time, behind Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s national record of 50.95. She also punched a 57.65 100 IM national record to land lane 4 for the final.
Another double was in store for Steenebergen on night 4 with the anchor for the final of the mixed 4×50 free relay and the 100 IM final. She posted a solid 23.42 anchor with the Dutch taking 3rd in the 1st event. In the latter, she won gold with a 57.53. The swim cracked her previous national record and made her the 4th fastest ever. She was chosen for free on the Netherlands’ women’s 4×50 medley relay. She had a solid 23.32 split and the team placed 5th.
The 200 free was next on the schedule for Steenbergen. Steenbergen led world record holder Siobhan Haughey in the prelims with a 1:52.83, just off her best. She took on her final double that night with the 200 free and the women’s 4×100 medley relay separated by only the men’s 200 free. In spite of this, she performed admirably with a 1:52.28 for bronze in the 200 free, just .04 off silver and the best time, and a remarkable 50.47 100 free split to help the Dutch take 4th.
For her remarkable season, she earned honorable mentions for SwimSwam’s Women’s European Swimmer of the Year and Comeback of the Year and was awarded Female Breakout Swimmer of the Year.
2023 Giant Open Finale
Steenbergen posted a swift 2:10.96 200 IM at the 2023 Giant Open Finale in France. She also posted a 1:57.71 200 free and a 54.19 100 free.
2023 Eindhoven Qualifcation Meet
Steenbergen might have had her best long course meet to this point at the 2023 Eindhoven Qualification Meet. She kicked things off with a 1:56.22 200 free best time. Next, she posted a 4:44.28 national record in the 400 IM followed by becoming the first Dutch woman sub-2:10 in the 200 IM with a 2:09.99 in the morning and a 2:09.16 at night. On the very same night, she posted a 53.10 100 free best time. She wrapped things up with a 24.42 50 free.
2023 Mare Nostrum Tour
At the Canet stop, Steenbergen won the 200 IM (2:11.06) and took second in the 100 free (53.42). In Barcelona she took bronze in the 200 IM (2:10.78), silver in the 100 free (53.45), silver in the 50 free (24.88), and silver in the 200 free with a massive 1:56.10. The 200 free was a best time for the Dutch Ace.
2023 Dutch Long Course Championships
Not to be outdone by her Eindhoven performances, Steenbergen pulled another remarkable meet out of her swim cap. On night 1 she clocked a 1:00.50 100 back best time, which boded well for her IM. On the next day came her first remarkable performance. She posted a 1:55.58 200 free, her third drop in the event this season, .52 under her previous best. Her third event might have been her best of the meet as she posted a 52.98 100 free; her first swim under the elite 53-second barrier inched her closer to Heemskerk’s national mark of 52.69. She returned to the pool again that night with a 2:10.88 200 IM. She closed her meet with a 24.82 50 free and a 58.55 100 fly personal best.
2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)
Steenbergen opened her meet with the 200 IM and was the anchor on the Dutch 400 free relay in both sessions on day 1. In the 200 IM, she was 2:11.31 for a risky 13th in prelims but made sure of her finals qualification with a swift 2:09.30 for 3rd in semis, just off her best time. After each of those IMs, she had fantastic relay splits. In prelims, she helped the Dutch to 3rd with a 52.13 split, the fastest of the heats. In the finals, Steenbergen was even better with an absurd 51.84 split, but her anchor leg heroics were only enough to move the Dutch from 7th the 6th. The split appears to be the 22nd fastest split performance ever and makes her the #9 performer on that list.
In the 200 IM final, Steenbergen was off her form with a 2:11.89 for 7th. The next morning, she returned in the 200 free and advanced through prelims (1:56.66) and semis (1:56.49). In the final, she went a best time of 1:55.51 to score a solid 5th-place finish. In the mixed 400 medley relay, Steenbergen threw down a kee 52.13 anchor in prelims to help the qualify 3rd for the final. There, after her 200 free final, she threw down a 52.09 anchor as the Dutch finished squarely in 4th.
In the 100 free, Steenbergen did enough in prelims with a 53.82 to qualify 6th. She went after it in semis with a personal best of 52.82 to lead the field. Coinciding with the 100 free was the 800 free relay where Steenbergen was 1:56.27 in prelims and 1:55.47 in the finals.
In the 100 free final, Steenbergen was out with the field in 25.60 but barrelled home in 27.11, the 2nd fastest back half, to bronze in 52.71, a new best time. This was Steenbergen’s first individual LC Worlds medal, having earned her first relay medal back in 2015.
This year, steenbergen added the 50 free to her repertoire and had soldi results to show. She was 7th in prelims (24.63) and tied 8th in semis (24.68). In her swimoff with Marie Wattel, she won in 24.53. In the finals, Steenbergen was 8th in 24.61.
In the 400 medley relay, Steenebergen probably save the dutch from missing the final with a 51.99 anchor. She was even better in the finals with a 51.96 but that was only enough to bring the dutch back to 7th.
–This biography was originally developed by Lucas Caswell