Femke Heemskerk cannot participate in the Rotterdam Qualification Meet (RQM) which will be held from 3 to 6 December in Zwemcentrum Rotterdam. The swimmer of HPC Eindhoven has to be quarantined because her husband tested positive for COVID-19.
Heemskerk herself was tested positive for the virus in October. At that time she developed no complaints and later – after two negative tests – travelled to the ‘short track bubble’ of the International Swimming League (ISL) in Budapest. “That’s why it’s extra sour for Femke that she now has to miss the qualifying games in Rotterdam, the first important event on the long track since nine months,” said André Cats, technical director of the KNZB.
In Rotterdam, the top Dutch swimmers will be hunting for limits for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the coming days. They will also be able to earn tickets in Rotterdam for the European Championships long track to be held in Budapest and Madeira (paraz swimming) in May 2021.
Femke Heemskerk already swam individual limits for the Olympic 50 and 100 free and is also an important candidate at the relays. After the RQM the maximum two fastest athletes per number will be nominated for Tokyo. Of course they have to swim below the limit in Rotterdam or they must have done so before. Open spots can then be filled by a limit swim at the Swimcup in Eindhoven (April) or the European Championships in Budapest (May).
André Cats: “The same goes for the European Championships: a maximum of two athletes per number who swim below the limit in Rotterdam or have already done so before will be nominated for Budapest. After that at least two starting spots will remain available in the spring”.