2019 Speedo Challenge
- Sunday, March 10th
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
The 2019 Speedo Challenge came and went in Amsterdam, with primarily Dutch swimmers taking to their domestic pool to get some in-season racing under their belts. The national championships are on the horizon, therefore, this meet represented merely a racing opportunity along the path toward Gwangju qualification.
With top guns such as Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk absent, national record holder Tes Schouten was a main attraction. Schouten took the women’s 100m breaststroke with ease, registering a winning effort of 1:0.24 to represent the only racer to dip under the 1:10 threshold.
Schouten’s time was well off her Dutch NR of 1:07.11 set around this same time last year, but it’s a personal victory coming back from injuries that forced her to withdraw from the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Schouten competed at the 2018 European Championships, where her highest finish came in her specialty 100m breast event. Despite entering the meet ranked 7th (1:07.12), Schouten failed to advance to the semi-finals, shut out in 18th place with a disappointing 1:08.56. Because of this lackluster showing, in September last year, the protegé and coach determined together that a ‘good performance during the YOG proved no real possibility anymore.’
Also in the pool this weekend was Valerie van Vliet, who took the women’s 10m back in a mark of 1:04.65. That was after snagging silver behind Valerie van Roon in the women’s 100m freestyle in a time of 57.66. Van Roon got her hand on the wall first in a winning effort of 57.38.
Kinge Zandringa put up a notable performance in the women’s 100m fly, winning the race in a time of 59.95. Her personal best rests at the 58.64 she put up in Glasgow last year that rendered the 20-year-old in 12th place overall.