Competition for Van den Hoogenband
At the World Cup short track event in Berlin two world records were broken, but not by the German favorite Thomas Rupprath. The South Africans, who amazed the world at the last Olympics, were the top dogs and won the 4000 dollar bonuses.
Roland Schoeman equalled the world short track record of Ian Crocker at the 100 free style: 46.25. Pieter van den Hoogenband, who returned home from his vacation in South Africa on January 24th, knows now what he’s up against this season.
Schoeman almost denied Van den Hoogenband his second Olympic title at the 100m event in Athens. At the 25m track in Berlin he again started at warp speed, his trademark. The speedy South African took off at 0.16 seconds after the start signal. Schoeman turned at 21.91 – as a comparison, he won the 50m event on Sunday in 21.45 – and was 0.25 seconds below Crocker’s world record pace of March last year (East Meadow). Only in the final phase of the race, just like in August when he was ahead of Van den Hoogenband for most of the race, he lost his advantage. The Dutch short track record of VDH, who is not very strong at starts and turns, is 46.81.