Less than one week after the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo claimed top honors at the FINA World Championships in the 50 meter freestyle, she came out victorious in the short course meters variant of the race at the FINA World Cup stop at Eindhoven. Kromowidjojo sprinted to a 23.24 in finals, which which just beat Marleen Veldhuis’ 23.25 from 2008 by the slimmest of margins. The time also cut about one tenth off Kromowidjojo’s own textile record and lifetime best of 23.37 that had stood since December of 2010.
Kromowidjojo gave a preview of her speed in prelims when she easily landed the top seed with a 23.48. This was a full six tenths faster than the next fastest qualifier, Jeanette Ottesen-Gray of Denmark, who swam a 24.13 in the morning. In finals, she maintained the same healthy lead over the rest of the field as Chantal van Landeghem from Canada finished a distant second with a 23.85 effort.
Although 25 meter splits are not available, this is how Kromowidjojo’s swim compares with Veldhuis’ previous world record:
Kromowidjojo: (rt: +0.67) 23.24
Veldhuis: (rt: +0.82) 23.25
As can be seen here, Kromowidjojo’s start was the deciding factor in her record-breaking performance. In race where every hundredth of a second counts, Kromowidjojo has found a way to improve her start incrementally since Worlds. In the final in Barcelona, she had a +0.69 reaction, while in Eindhoven she posted a +0.68 in prelims followed by a +0.67 in finals.
With this win and world record, Kromowidjojo has extended her successful run since her victory at the London Olympics, and retains her status as the fastest woman in the world in the pool. Tomorrow, Kromowidjojo will compete in the 100 meter freestyle, in which she is the top seed, and also in the 50 meter butterfly, where she is the 7th seed. Kromowidjojo’s best time of 51.36 is knocking on the door of Libby Trickett’s 51.01 World record that has stood since August of 2009.