Marrit Steenbergen Scorches Personal-Best 52.98 100 Free, No. 4 in World This Season


Marrit Steenbergen is putting up some red-hot performances at this weekend’s Dutch Long Course Championships ahead of the World Championships next month in Fukuoka, Japan.

The 23-year-old standout dominated the 100-meter freestyle final on Saturday afternoon with a winning time of 52.98, dropping more than a tenth of a second off her previous-best 53.10 from the Eindhoven Qualification Meet in April. She touched first nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Milou van Wijk (54.77).

Steenbergen now ranks fourth in the world this season behind only Shayna Jack (52.64), Mollie O’Callaghan (52.63), and Siobhan Haughey (52.50).

2022-2023 LCM Women 100 Free

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Steenbergen’s new lifetime best would have tied her for fourth at last year’s World Championships with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, who won’t be competing this summer. Last year, Steenbergen didn’t make it out of the semifinals with a 54.11 before rebounding by claiming gold at the European Championships in 53.24.

Steenbergen is just the third Dutch woman under 53 seconds in the 100 free along with Femke Heemskerk (52.69) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.75). She’s within a few tenths of Heemskerk’s national record of 52.69 from 2015.

Less than an hour after winning the 100 free, Steenbergen returned to the pool for the 200 IM final and pulled out a convincing victory in 2:10.88. She reached the wall nearly six seconds ahead of the field, not far off her personal-best 2:09.16 from April’s Eindhoven Qualification Meet, which ranks sixth in the world this season.

On Friday night, Steenbergen collected another win in the 200 free, firing off a personal-best 1:55.58 that ranks eighth in the world this season.

After not making an individual final at last year’s World Championships, Steenbergen is a legitimate threat to reach three individual finals next month in the 100 free, 200 free, and 200 IM as she currently owns a top-eight time in each event.

In other highlights from the third night of action in Amersfoort, the young ZPC Amersfoort quartet of Femke Spiering (born 2002), Rosalie Reef (born 2008), Maiike Ooms (born 2008), and Elise Hardeman (born 2001) combined to clock a winning time of 3:45.93 in the women’s 400 free relay final.

That mark took down the previous senior national club record of 3:46.10 that De Dolfijn’s quartet of Manon van Rooijen (57.82), Chantal Groot (56.26), Linda Bank (56.68), and Femke Heemskerk (55.34) set back in 2007. Spiering led off ZPC Amersfoort’s team in 56.29, Reef split 56.54, Ooms went 57.66, and Hardeman anchored in 55.44.

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3 months ago

Imagine if she found this form when Femke and Kromo were still around. If I remember correctly, she was already doing sub 53 splits last year – which is one year after Femke and Kromo retired.

Reply to  Nono
3 months ago

Ok I just checked

Femke – 51.73 European Champs (4×100 mixed free relay finals)
Kromo – 52.50 Tokyo Olympics (4×100 mixed free relay finals)

Marrit – 52.55 Budapest WC (4×100 mixed free relay finals)

Obviously there are so many factors when it comes to relay so we can’t just add these together and conclude they could have medaled here and there.

Reply to  Nono
3 months ago

Concur with your final stanza. For a consistently strong relay, you need four reliable/consistent legs and this has been the issue with the NED W4X100 since Marleen Veldhuis retired and even moreso post Inge Dekker.

Steenbergen emerged as quality but the likes of Van Der Meer, Busch & Toussaint never measured up.

3 months ago

Remember when 52 was a guaranteed medal!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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