Saturday, 14 April 2012

Women's 100m Freestyle Living Up To It's Blue Riband Billing

Photo courtesy of @aadvangroningen

Today in Eindhoven Ranomi Kromowidjojo vaulted herself back to the top of the list of favourites in the women's 100m Freestyle. Having seen Sarah Sjostrom move past the rest of the world at the end of last year, Kromowidjojo broke out with a stunning 52.75 effort. 

This time not only breaks Sjostrom's previous textile best mark of 53.05 from November, but also clears Libby Trickett's time of 52.99 set in a mixed relay back in 2007 (in a lane next to Michael Phelps).

To highlight the depth of this event, here is a list of swimmers with a legitimate medal chance (and their best time in textile). I've put them into the tiers I see them currently:

Tier 1

Ranomi Kromowidjojo - 52.75
Sarah Sjostrom - 53.05

Tier 2

Fran Halsall - 53.48
Missy Franklin - 53.63
Aleksandra Herasimenia - 53.45
Jeanette Ottesen - 53.45
Femke Heemskerk - 53.60*

Tier 3

Britta Steffen - 53.30
Natalie Coughlin - 53.40
Yi Tang - 53.71
Mel Schlanger - 53.74
Cate Campbell - 53.84
Dana Vollmer - 53.94

There will not be many (if any) events at the Olympics with a deeper final field than the women's 100m Freestyle.

* Heemskerk didn't compete in Eindhoven today, with Marleen Veldhuis swimming 53.95 today she may not have qualified for the individual 100m Free.


  1. I believe the women's 200free will also be stacked with the likes of Defending champion Pellegrini, Muffat, Franklin, Sjostrom, Heemskerk, Schmitt, Palmer... The 100free is turning out to be the race to watch.. I believe Missy Franklin can also go sub 53 in a textile suit..

  2. I'm liking the tier organization here.

    I'd like to point out that she is almost a full second faster than she was in the 100 last year (and over half a second faster than she was last month)... on both occasions she is a 24.2 in the 50m. I think she's in the position to completely wreck the textile record, and go 24.0 if not 23.9.

    She still only be a plurality's pick for gold in the 100free, but in my eyes, if she goes to London on her game in the 50free, I dont think ANYONE can catch her in that event.

    At this point in time, there's only 2 individuals I can even remotely see better 52.75: Sjostrom and Heemskerk, both of whom have been questioned to arrive on the biggest stage on form

  3. Missy Franklin is an option as well. Dont forget about her.. She's doing great things for the sport!

  4. Well, she made that look effortless.

    Very nice swim.

  5. I think she was prepped to go 53.00 in 2010 but got meningitus. it takes 2 years after a serious illness to get back on target.

    We are not taking in serious illnesses into account. They do impact.

    Also growth puts brakes on progress- gain more in height but lose flex & strength .

    I think it is helpful for fans to only expect improvements every 2 years.

  6. Ranomi will be the favourite in the 50/100free, no doubt... Wait a minute, US trials are coming up in June.. I however think she'l at least medal in both events, gold isnt in the bag just yet. It'l be incredibly difficult to double in London like what happened in beijing: Steffen- 50/100free, Adlington 400/800free, Rice 200/400IM.. There is a very distinct possibility that noone will double in the women's races this summer.

  7. It took Steffen 53.12 to win gold in beijing in a Lazer suit and Ranomi is on 52.75 in a textile suit which is amazing... I think times in london will be a lot faster than beijing albeit in textile.. Its exciting, very exciting!

  8. Agree Ranomi will be the one to beat, with Sjostrom about the only one with the serious potential to threaten her. Bearing in mind that potential doesn't always translate readily to results on the biggest stage when it counts. Femke also has the potential but historically can't step up at the big moment. Franny is a solid favourite for the silver in my opinion, in front of the home crowd. None of the Americans realistically have a shot for bronze, cos Natalie's underwaters won't be quite enough in the final stretches with such a fast field, and Missy if she gets past the USA trials will have too much on her plate and if she hasn't already peaked will likely be more ready in Rio...

  9. i wouldn't count out Marleen Veldhuis. she'll be quite dangerous!

    Halsall might find it tough with all the pressure on her.

    Franklin is way over-rated in this event (tier 3 at best). she should focus on the 200 back, her best chances are going to be there.