Luc Kroon Breaks National Record with Negative-Split 400 Free for Dutch First

Tuesday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 7th
Aquatics Palace, Kazan, Russia
SCM (25m)
Live results

20-year old Luc Kroon won the gold in the 400 free at the 2021 LEN Short Course Swimming Championships, and took the Netherlands’ national record with him. He is also the first Dutch swimmer to win this event at either the European Short Course Swimming Championships. In fact, they’ve only ever one a medal in this event at either the European Short Course Championships or the European Aquatics (long course) Championships either – a long course gold in 1962 from Johan Bontekoe.

Kroon’s time of 3:38.33 took down his own record of 3:39.69, set back at the Budapest stop of the 2021 FINA World Cup circuit. 

The 20-year-old negative split the 200s at 1:49.33/1:48.99, and entered the race seeded second after prelims. The prelim time difference between him and number one seed Marco de Tullio was, however, only 0.01 seconds.

SCM 400 Free — SC Euro Champs (3:38.33)
SCM 400 Free — FINA World Cup (3:39.69)

While Kroon opened up the first half of the race about where he did in his last national record swim, it was that big negative-split backhalf that made the difference here. He was about a second-and-a-half better in the last 200 on Tuesday than he was in Berlin.

Be it intentional or not, that’s a new pacing for Kroon, as he doesn’t usually split his 400 free all that flat.

Kroon has held this record continuously since December of 2020. Prior to that it belonged to Maarten Brzoskowski at 3:39.91.

His time of 3:38.33 shows quick improvement — during the regular season of the 2021 International Swimming League, he regularly swam the 400 free at 3:40/3:41.

Kroon also owns the Dutch Junior Record in the SCM 400 free, set with a time of 3:54.22 in 2017. 

He’s also a strong butterflier, though Dutch butterfliers Nyls Korstanje and Joeri Verlinden own the butterfly records. Kroon, however, has the 200 SCM fly junior record, also set in 2017 at 2:05.40.

You can catch the rest of the day one finals recaps here.

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