There’s a new development regarding Dutch Olympian Femke Heemskerk‘s Olympic qualification situation for the women’s 50m freestyle.
The disciplinary committee of the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB) ruled today in favor of the sprint ace, indicating that Heemskerk should be given another shot at Olympic qualification.
Refresher on the situation:
As we reported last December, 33-year-old Heemskerk had to withdraw from the Rotterdam Olympic Qualification Meet at the last minute to the fact that her husband had tested positive for coronavirus. As such, the pair were placed in quarantine and the Olympic medalist was unable to compete. Her time from the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju which previously put her on the list for Dutch Olympic qualification stood at 24.71.
All that needed to happen for Heemskerk to retain her OLY qualification was for no one but Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who also has already qualified in the 50m, to be faster than 24.71. However, Valerie Van Roon ripped a 24.63 lifetime best in Rotterdam to supplant Heemskerk into the 2nd Olympic qualifier.
In response to Heemskerk’s elimination in the 50m free while she sat in quarantine, some readers called the result ‘unfair’ while others said it’s all part of the game.
Cats also said that the association cannot make an exception for every swimmer, even with coronavirus in play.
“If we take the path that we take coronavirus into account with every decision, we’re lost.”
We’ve reached out to Heemskerk today to get her thoughts on the disciplinary committee ruling in her favor.
Additionally, the KNZB itself says that it is ‘now considering the decision and will come up with a response to the situation that has arisen within a few days.’