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.

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4 years ago

Anyone who has swum distance in SC, especially at speed or when your tired, knows lap counting can become a blur..amazed it doesn’t happen more often

4 years ago

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

tea rex
4 years ago

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

4 years ago


Reply to  coachymccoachface
4 years ago

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

Reply to  coachymccoachface
4 years ago


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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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