2016 Hague Grand Prix Preview
- Dates: Friday February 26th to Saturday February 28th
- Friday: Prelims – 4:00 pm local (10:00 am EST/7:00 am PST) Finals – 7:00 pm local (1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST)
- Saturday & Sunday: Prelims – 9 am local (3:00 am EST/12:00 pm PST) Finals – 4 pm local (10:00 am EST/7:00 am PST)
- General Information
- Start Lists
The third instalment of the Hague Grand Prix will run from Friday, February 26th to Sunday, February 28th. The competition in Hague is part of the KNZB Challenger series which includes:
- Roosendaal (SCM) – October 11, 2015
- Eindhoven – November 22, 2015
- Drachten – February 13-14, 2016
- Hague – February 26-28, 2016
- Dordrecht – March 12, 2016
- Oosterhout – March 13, 2016
- Alkmaar – July 9, 2016
Finals will be split into two age categories Youth (females born 2000 or later/males born 1998 or later) and Open.
The competition will also be one of five official Paralympic qualifiers for the Dutch team. Mark Faber, the Head Coach of the Dutch Paralympic team is excited about about the opportunity for the country’s best Paralympic swimmers, “The Hague Grand Prix is definitely an added value to the meet calendar for our swimmers. We have been given maximum cooperation to let our athletes excel during the Grand Prix. An excellent venue, top teams competing and a great meet schedule of 3 days with heats and finals. That’s why we have decided to make the Grand Prix one of our 5 qualification meets for Rio 2016.”
Joop Alberda, the Technical Director of KNZB, is excited to see some of the top talent in the country go head to head with some of the strong up and coming athletes, “A perfect ambiance to let the talents of tomorrow meet their current role models. As part of the KNZB Challenger series Dutch top swimmers will join the Grand Prix this year. A good test moment for our swimmers in their preparation for Rio 2016 and an opportunity to meet and watch Olympic swimmers in the Hague.”
There will be four athletes who competed in Kazan at the competition in Hague. Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo will be racing both the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly. Kromowidjojo has not competed in the long course 50 freestyle since Kazan or the long course 50 butterfly since April. Although she has not posted long course times in the 2015-16 season she had a fantastic December tying her own world record in the short course 50 freestyle posting a 23.24.
Marrit Steenbergen, who collected three individual and three relay medals at the European Games last summer, will be swimming the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly and 200 IM. Earlier this month the 16 year old set new Dutch age group records in both the 100 and 200 freestyle, although neither of her times were close to what she posted as a 15 year old at the European Games in Baku.
Three of the four men who represented the Netherlands at the World Championships will see action in Hague. Kyle Stolk (50 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 50 butterfly), Sebastiaan Verschuren and Maarten Brzoskowki (800 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 backstroke and 50 butterfly) will all be competing this weekend.