When Pieter Van Den Hoogenband & The Eindhoven Express Set Off For The Pantheon

Pieter Van Den Hoogenband - by Patrick B. Kraemer
Pieter Van Den Hoogenband - by Patrick B. Kraemer

“I kept a book of all the records of 9-, 10- and 11-year-old boys in my bedroom. I wanted to be the best at every age. There were a lot of talented swimmers, but they stopped because of the pressure of the sport. But I enjoyed it”. It showed when Pieter van den Hoogenband, born under Pisces in March 1978, let off steam as the Eindhoven Express this day 15 years ago at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

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Comments

Verram

Great article on this pioneer swimmer…his 47.84 was amazing

ThereaLuigi

A great great freestyler, strong in distances from 50 across 200, maybe the last among men in that respect (we have Sjostrom among women).

His 47.84 was out of this world, a time good enough to win medals in top venues even today. In 2005, in Montreal, Magnini would clock what was at the time the second-best time in the 100 free, 48.12: it had taken the rest of the world 5 years to get no closer than 3 tenth of a second! Amazing.

Verram

Ning zetao won the recent world champs in 47.84.. 15 years later after Hoogie first did it

Craig Lord

Indeed; shame the 2015 champion was towing an awful lot of baggage with him, Verram

JMott76

In my top 5 all time fave male swimmers along with Thorpey (#1), Gross, Popov and Biondi. Great to watch.

ThereaLuigi

Yes 47.84 was eyepopping; the true standard for 11 years. Re Magnini: whilst he missed WR, 48.12 was still the fastest in a global 100fr final (beating Hoogie’s 48.17 from Athens)… a category of “world record” not always tracked. [Currently held, at least in textile, by Adrian w/ 47.52] (((NB from CL – that last ‘held’ meaning fastest for the Olympic win, not all-time textile)))

ThereaLuigi

JMott, I could add that in Montreal Magnini raised his head before touching the wall and lost in my opinion a few hundredths there … still, VDH’s time was way too far.

JMott76

Craig

When I said global finals, should’ve added “World or Olympic” (47.52 quickest for gold in either meet textile, albeit .42 off TB).

ThereaLuigi

Rewatched and you’re right, Filippo does break form on final stroke. Otherwise 48.09?

Verram

Does James magnussen’s relay lead off of 47.49 count when he lead off the 4×100 free relay in Shanghai?

ThereaLuigi

JMott, we’ll never know 🙂

Verram, I think JMott was referring exclusively to times swam in a 100 free final.

aswimfan

Jmott,

I have also those five swimmers in my top 8 fave male swimmers, not in that order, but topped also by Thorpey

JMott76

Verram

As ThereaLuigi says, only individual 100 finals. If one includes relay finals, Klim’s 48.18 also topped previous “best” (Biondi’s 48.63), but personally I reserve that distinction for VDH’s 48.30 (despite being somewhat disappointing after his semi).

aswimfan

Whilst others have gone quicker, there may never again be a swimmer quite as “watchable” as Thorpedo. At least not in my lifetime 🙁

Craig Lord

Phelps, Melbourne 2007, for example among others examples, was very watchable indeed – thrilling – right up there.

ThereaLuigi

Sun Yang is quite watchable himself or at least he was before he had the hiccups we all know about.

Craig Lord

Kieren Perkins was more thrilling in his time – helped, of course, to have a swimmer who was great to talk to … and a coach who was a joy to chat to and had so many stories to tell. There was a lot of respect in the mix… makes it all the more interesting and ‘watchable’.

aswimfan

I can’t remember who said it, either Krayzelburg or Peirsol, who was asked the perfect swim he’s seen, and he said he said that Thorpe’s 400 free in 2004 Athens was a perfect swim.

Craig Lord

Not under as much pressure, of course, and hard to compare but Manchester 2002 WR was a thriller and a better swim in some ways. On the clock – which is not always the best judge of such things, Athens wasn’t even in Thorpe’s personal top 10, of course.

aswimfan

Thorpe once said he had some left in the tank by the time he finished that 2002 Manchester swim.

If only he’d known that would be his last WR….

Craig Lord

Yes, aswimfan, imagine… 3:39.xx … 🙂

ThereaLuigi

In his biography, Thorpe tells how he hated every second of that last 400 in Athens.

As for the nearly missed 3:39, he clearly slowed down the last 50 … as a big regret, I have it next to Usain Bolt’s hitting the brakes in his WR 100 race.

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