Frederike Johanna Maria "Femke" Heemskerk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfɛmkə ˈɦeːmskɛrk]; born 21 September 1987) is a Dutch competitive swimmer who mainly specializes in freestyle, but also has a strong backstroke and medley.
|Full name||Frederike Johanna Maria Heemskerk|
|Born||21 September 1987|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb)|
|Strokes||Freestyle, medley, backstroke|
As part of the Dutch team, she holds the short course world records in the 4 × 50 m freestyle relay, 4 × 100 m freestyle relay, and 4×200 m freestyle relay, all set in Doha in 2014. Individually she is owner of six national records, four in long course, 100 m and 200 m freestyle, 100 m backstroke, and 200 m individual medley, and two in short course, 200 m freestyle and 200 m individual medley. She currently represents Energy Standard in the International Swimming League.
Femke Heemskerk made her international debut at the World LC Championships 2005 in Montreal as a relay-swimmer. She only swum in the heats of the 4×100 m freestyle and the 4×200 m freestyle events. She competed in the European LC Championships 2006 and the European Short Course Swimming Championships. But individually she did not advance past the heats in both events.
At the World LC Championships 2007 she won a bronze medal in the 4×100 m freestyle together with Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Marleen Veldhuis. At the 2007 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Debrecen she surprisingly finished 6th in her first international final, the 100 m freestyle. She also finished 10th in the 200 m freestyle.
In 2008 she swam at the 2008 European Aquatics Championships on the world record breaking 4×100 m freestyle team, which also won bronze in the World Championships the year before. With the same team she ended fourth in the 4×200 m freestyle relay. Individually she did not reach the semi-finals. The next month she competed in Manchester at the World SC Championships 2008 where she again broke two relay records in the 4×200 m freestyle with the same team as in Eindhoven. In the 4×100 m freestyle Hinkelien Schreuder replaced Ranomi Kromowidjojo who suffered from an elbow injury. She won her first individual medal, a silver medal, in the 200 m freestyle at the last day of the tournament. During the National Championships in June 2008, Heemskerk lowered three national records on the long course, 200 m freestyle, 200 m individual medley and 100 m backstroke.
2008 Summer OlympicsEdit
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing she won a gold medal with the 4×100 m freestyle relay. She did so alongside Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Marleen Veldhuis in a time of 3:33.76, just 0.14 outside their own world record. The day after she competed individually in the 200 m individual medley where she finished 28th during the heats. Heemskerk was the lead-off swimmer in both 4×200 m freestyle and 4×100 m medley relays, both of which did not qualify for the finals.
After the Olympics Heemskerk returned to competition at the 2008 European Aquatics Championships where she qualified for the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in the 100 m and 200 m freestyle. The week afterwards she participated in the 2008 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Rijeka, Croatia. There she won a silver medal in the 200 m freestyle behind Federica Pellegrini. She also finished fifth in the 100 m medley. At the end of 2008 she became Amsterdam Sportswoman of the year
In 2011 Heemskerk won a gold medal at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships as part of the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay alongside Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Marleen Veldhuis in a time of 3:33.96. She anchored the team with a split time of 52.46, the fastest split in the final by 0.53.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Heemskerk and her teammates – Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Inge Dekker, Marleen Veldhuis, and Hinkelien Schreuder – won a silver medal in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay, an event in which they were the defending champions. The gold medal went to Australia.
Heemskerk won her first individual world title at the 2014 world short course championships in Doha, Qatar, in the 100 m freestyle, ahead of Sarah Sjöström and Kromowidjojo. She won three more gold medals in the freestyle relays. In the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay, she swam a split time of 50.58 s, the only split under 51 seconds in the field.
After finishing outside the medals in her individual events (the 100 and 200 meter freestyle) at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Heemskerk decided to move to France to train with coach Philippe Lucas.
Heemskerk qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, her third Olympics, in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle and the 4 × 100 and 4 × 200 meter freestyle relays. With the 4 × 100 meter freestyle relay she finished 4th in the final, after having medalled in the past two Olympics. In the 200 meter freestyle, she finished 16th in the semifinals.
3-5 March 2017 Heemskerk competed in Swim Cup The Hague where she won the 200 m freestyle with a time of 1:56.59, came second in the 100 m freestyle (time 54.19), and came third in the 50 m freestyle with a time of 25.29.
Heemskerk took part in the Swim Cup Eindhoven, the Dutch Championships and also qualification competitions for the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on 14-17 July 2017. In the Swim Cup Eindhoven, Heemskerk won the 200 m freestyle event with a time of 1:56.62, securing a place for Budapest. Silver and bronze medals went to Isabel Gose and Robin Neumann who were at least 2.5 seconds slower than Heemskerk. In the 100 m freestyle event Heemskerk reached the finals and finished second with a time of 53.77, securing qualification for the Budapest championships.
International Swimming LeagueEdit
In the Autumn of 2019 she was member of the inaugural International Swimming League swimming for the Energy Standard International Swim Club, who won the team title in Las Vegas, Nevada, in December.
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- Femke Heemskerk. Zwemkroniek Online. Retrieved on 19 March 2008.
- Beijing 2008 profile
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- Anderson, Jared (5 December 2014). "Dutch women 2-for-2 in free relay World Records after 4×100 record in Doha". Swimswam. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Lord, Craig (5 December 2014). "First Solo World Title For Femke Heemskerk Before Dutch Demolish Relay World Record". Swimvortex. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- Race, Loretta (12 July 2016). "Kromowidjojo, Dekker, Verschuren Among 17-Strong Dutch Olympic Roster". Swimswam. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
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- "Swim Cup Eindhoven – Welkom op de website van Swim Cup Eindhoven". swimcupeindhoven.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 March 2017.
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- "knzb live score 2017 april" (PDF).
- "Club Rosters – International Swimming League". Retrieved 2020-04-17.
- Femke Heemskerk at swimrankings.net