World Cup Singapore: Even Olympians Miscount Laps Sometimes


Despite earning the fastest 400m freestyle time of the morning in Singapore with an effort of 4:08.62, Dutch Olympian Femke Heemskerk wound up 4th and off the podium in the event when tonight’s final at the OCBC Aquatic Centre came to pass.

Owning a season-best time of 4:00.03, the 6th fastest time in the world, Heemskerk has also collected speedy marks of 4:02.24 and 4:01.29 in this event over the course of her World Cup Series. So when the 31-year-old ultimately came in 4th in a slower-than-prelims time of 4:09.44, it was clear something was amiss.

It turns out that both Heemskerk miscounted her laps and actually stopped at the wall at the 350m mark. Hungarian World Championships medalist Boglarka Kapas then stopped briefly as well, most likely then costing her the gold.

Heemskerk registered the fastest 350m of the field in 3:28.44, but her final 50m split of 41.00 indicated just how much her ‘break’ at the wall cost her in the end. That left German Reva Foos time to surge to the lead, clock a final 50m of 29.59 and ultimately catch the top prize in 4:07.07.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted



Not being able to count to 8 or 16 isn’t embarrassing?



tea rex

Ouch – she would have been under 4:00 for sure


This only happens to those are are there competing. The rest of us comfortably sitting, should applaud their efforts.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!