The annual International Swimming Festival took place in Aachen, Germany this past weekend, where veteran and rising talent alike took the pool. For some, the chance to qualify for the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships was at stake, as the Festival represents one of the select meets at which Dutch swimmers can clock qualifying times.
22-year-old Jesse Puts wasted no time making his mark on the meet, taking the men’s 50m freestyle in a time of 21.17. Not only does that mark score Puts a personal best, but it also now registers as the new Dutch National Record in the short course version of the splash n’ dash. Puts’ time in Aachen lowered the previous record of 21.41 held by Johan Kenkhuis since 2005. Puts’ time also dips beneath the Dutch-mandated qualifying time of 21.26, most likely earning the Aquarijn swimmer a spot on the Windsor roster.
It had been a while since 2016 Olympian Marrit Steenbergen raced a 400m freestyle, so it was almost inevitable the 16-year-old would clock a new personal best. And that she did, as Steenbergen beat the field in Aachen, touching in 4:13.93 for the win by over a second ahead of the field. Her outing now replaces her previous best time of 4:18.03 from a domestic meet back in 2014.
Dutch age group records were broken across several races over the course of the meet, including one feat by Kim Busch. The 18-year-old NTC Eindhoven swimmer notched a personal best time of 58.89 in the women’s 100m butterfly, scoring herself a new age record in the process. Her sub-59 outing replaced the previous age record of 59.60 held by Olympian Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Busch also earned a personal best of 24.55 in the 50m freestyle, but will need to drop another 4 tenths to beat Kromowidjojo’s age group record of 24.14 in that event.
Nyls Korstanje wrangled in a new 50m butterfly age group record for 17 year-old males at the meet. His time of 23.70 took the victory in the event, while also surpassing his own previous record of 23.86 set in January of this year.