|Full name||Frederike Johanna Maria Heemskerk|
21 September 1987 |
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb)|
|Strokes||Freestyle, medley, backstroke|
|Club||Nationaal Zweminstituut Amsterdam|
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.
As part of the Dutch team, she holds the world record 4 × 100 m freestyle relay on both short course and long course. In short course she is also part of the Dutch team who holds the 4×200 m freestyle relay world record. Individually she is owner of five national records, two in long course, 200 m freestyle and 200 m individual medley, and three in short course, 200 m freestyle, 200 m backstroke and 200 m individual medley.
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 swum 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 Olympics
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.