Femke Heemskerk

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Femke Heemskerk
Femke Heemskerk.jpg
Personal information
Full name Frederike Johanna Maria Heemskerk
Nickname(s) "Femke"
National team  Netherlands
Born (1987-09-21) 21 September 1987 (age 29)
Roelofarendsveen, Netherlands
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Website FemkeHeemskerk.nl
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, medley, backstroke
Coach Philippe Lucas[2]

Frederike Johanna Maria "Femke" Heemskerk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfɛmkə ˈɦeːmskɛrk]; born 21 September 1987) is a Dutch competitive swimmer[3] who mainly specializes in freestyle, but also has a strong backstroke and medley.

As part of the Dutch team, she holds the short course world records in the 4 × 50 m freestyle relay,[4] 4 × 100 m freestyle relay, and 4×200 m freestyle relay,[5] 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.

Swimming career[edit]

Early career[edit]

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.

Spring 2008[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Fall 2008[edit]

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.


London Olympics[edit]

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.[6] 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.[6]


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.[2]


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.[7] 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.

Personal bests[edit]

Short course[3][8]
Event Time Date Location
50 m freestyle 23.79 2014-11-20 Kopenhagen, Denmark
100 m freestyle 51.37 2014-12-05 Doha, Qatar
200 m freestyle 1:51.69 2014-12-07 Doha, Qatar
100 m backstroke 57.72 2010-10-31 Berlin, Germany
200 m backstroke 2:03.51 2014-11-09 Tilburg, Netherlands
100 m individual medley 58.96 2014-10-18 Aachen, Germany
200 m individual medley 2:06.88 2014-11-08 Tilburg, Netherlands
Long course[3][8]
Event Time Date Location
50 m freestyle 24.57 2015-04-02 Eindhoven, Netherlands
100 m freestyle NR 52.69 2015-04-05 Eindhoven, Netherlands
200 m freestyle NR 1:54.68 2015-04-03 Eindhoven, Netherlands
100 m backstroke 1:00.03 2011-03-11 Amsterdam, Netherlands
200 m individual medley NR 2:10.21 2014-04-10 Eindhoven, Netherlands


  1. ^ Beijing 2008 profile
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Jared (September 6, 2015). "Femke Heemskerk moving to France to join coach Philippe Lucas". Swimswam. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Femke Heemskerk. Zwemkroniek Online. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  4. ^ "Women's 4×50m Freestyle Relay Results (heats)". Omega Timing. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Jared (December 5, 2014). "Dutch women 2-for-2 in free relay World Records after 4×100 record in Doha". Swimswam. Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Lord, Craig (December 5, 2014). "First Solo World Title For Femke Heemskerk Before Dutch Demolish Relay World Record". Swimvortex. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ Race, Loretta (July 12, 2016). "Kromowidjojo, Dekker, Verschuren Among 17-Strong Dutch Olympic Roster". Swimswam. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Femke Heemskerk at swimrankings.net

External links[edit]