2017 Mare Nostrum Barcelona-Sjostrom Snares 4th Fastest 100 Free Ever


Pure speed was the name of the game on day 2 of the Mare Nostrum Barcelona, with the unforgiving Swedish sprinter Sarah Sjostrom proving once again she’s at the top of her game. Last week we saw how the Olympic gold medalist and butterfly record holder was able to maintain her incredible momentum with just minutes in between multiple events, and the 23-year-old accomplished similar remarkable feats today.

The 50m butterfly fell victim to Sjostrom first, with the Swede nabbing a new meet record time 24.76 en route to gold. That mark absolutely crushed the previous record of 25.27 held by Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen since 2014. Representing the only swimmer to go sub-25 tonight, Sjostrom took .14 off of her winning outing of 24.90 from just last weekend. Teenage Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak, who unbelievably turned a mere 17 years old yesterday, took silver tonight in 25.76, with Belgium’s Kimberly Buys right behind in 25.86.

With just the men’s 400m IM final in between, Sjostrom was right back on the blocks for her 2nd event of the night, the women’s 100m freestyle. The freakishly-stacked field included Cate and Bronte CampbellMichelle Coleman, Femke Heemskerk and Emma McKeon, all of whom were unable to match the runaway train that was Sjostrom in the race.

Last week Sjostrom fired off an impressive 52.60 to win the women’s 100m freestyle, a feat which included an opening split of 25.63. However, she crushed that outing tonight on both halves of the race. Opening the contest in 25.16, Sjostrom wound up maintaining that rapidity for the back half, closing in 27.12 to notch a huge 52.28 for the win. That mark now checks in as the top time in the world, surpassing even what she produced (52.54) from the Swedish Open.

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In fact, Sjostrom’s 52.28 time tonight now registers as the 4th fastest swim of all-time among a list that includes two marks from Britta Steffen from the 2009 supersuit era. The top 5 times ever in the women’s 100m freestyle, according to the USA Swimming website, are as follows:

  1. 52.06 Cate Campbell, WR, 2016
  2. 52.07 Britta Steffen, 2009
  3. 52.22 Britta Steffen, 2009
  4. 52.28, Sarah Sjostrom, 2017
  5. 52.33, Cate Campbell, 2013

Cate Campbell (C1) settled for silver in the race in a very solid 53.43 to beat the 54.06 she rendered last week for 4th place. Coleman also landed on the podium in bronze with a time of 53.85. Of note, Dutch Olympian Ranomi Kromowidjojo and gold medalist Penny Oleksiak also contested the women’s 100m freestyle. Kromo wound up winning the B-final in 53.42, while the Canadian clocked 54.82 in prelims, only to scratch from the final.

Following up her 200m breaststroke world record scare from last night was Russian Olympian Yulia Efimova with an encore in the shorter event. Wowing the crowd with last night’s 2:19.83 2 breast, Efimova cranked out a rapid 1:05.66 to take gold tonight the 100m distance. She was a full second faster than runner-up Jennie Johansson, the Swede who touched in 1:06.78 for silver. The Russian’s time tonight out-did what she produced at her nation’s trials in April.

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Spain’s Mireia Belmonte was another double winner on the evening, cranking out two victories in her signature mid-distance events. First, the 200m butterfly saw the Spaniard take charge and not look back, with the Olympic gold medalist stampeding to the wall in a mighty 2:07.11 to establish a new meet record. That time beat her previous season-best of 2:08.17 by over a second and now places her as 5th fastest in the world, pre-U.S. Trials.

Mireia Belmonte

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Belmonte was the clear winner in the women’s 400m freestyle as well, taking that event in a solid 4:05.76, a time that falls within her own personal top 10 marks of her career. Her gold medal-garnering performance from this evening overtook Hungary’s Baglarka Kapas as the 5th fastest time in the world.

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Several men threw down the heat in their respective sprint events tonight, including Brazilian Olympic finalist Bruno Fratus. On a roll with his 50m freestyle win from Monaco, as well as his 100m freestyle silver from last night, Fratus was king of the splash n’ dash for a 2nd time. Clocking 21.76, the Auburn-trained athlete was .23 ahead of 2nd place finisher Ari-Pekka Liukkenen, who touched in 21.99 as the other sub-22 second swimmer.

Australian ace James Magnussen, who is just getting back into racing since an extended competitive break post-Rio, registered a very respectable 22.15 for bronze. For Maggie, his confidence is building, having won the 100m freestyle both in Monaco and here, but no doubt his mind would really be set at some ease once he sees a 21-point 50 freestyle.

Cameron van der Burgh got the job done in the 50m breaststroke tonight, roaring to the wall in the only sub-27 second time of the field. Touching in 26.96, VDB beat his 26.99 from last weekend and now rests among the world’s top 3 in the event this season.

Additional Winners Tonight:

  • Mitch Larkin of Australia continues to dominate the backstroke events, taking the 100m distance in 53.76. Taylor Dale was right behind in 54.00, a new personal best for the Athens Bulldog swimmer.
  • Australia saw another backstroke winner in the form of Emily Seebohm, who scored an additional meet record tonight in Barcelona. Seebohm touched in 2:07.30 to win the women’s 200m event, overtaking the previous record held by countrymate Belinda Hocking at 2:07.91 from 2008. Seebohm also rocked the win in the 50m backstroke, earning a time of 27.80 to collect another meet record.
  • Mack Horton continued the Aussie gold train, taking the men’s 1500m freestyle in 15:05.57. His time of 14:51.21 from the Aussie National Championships in April sits a the 3rd fastest time in the world currently.
  • Russia’s Anton Chupkov took the men’s 200m breast event, also setting a new meet record in the process. In his 5th best personal performance ever, Chupkov clocked 2:08.41 to beat domestic rival Kirill Prigoda, who finished in 2:09.90 for silver.
  • Yauhen Tsurkin was the men’s 100m butterfly winner in 52.46, beating Olympic silver medalist Laszlo Cseh by just .05.
  • The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu was in the pool several times tonight, highlighted by her win in the 200m IM in a time of 2:10.16.
  • The men’s 400m freestyle winner from Russia, Aleksandr Krasnykh stood atop the podium again in Barcelona, earning a time of 1:47.39 to win the 200m freestyle in the only sub-1:48 outing of the field.
  • Italy’s Federico Turrini was the men’s 400m IM winner in 4:20.37.

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4 years ago

I’ve officially had it with this Reins Aoki 1:05.29 nonsense. While she is a great breaststroker, she has never been faster than 1:06.77

Reply to  Wallaby
4 years ago

1:06,53. Point taken though.

Reply to  Marley09
4 years ago

Yulia is looking good though nabbing top times this year in 50,100, 200 🙂

Swim Nerd
4 years ago

Wow. Sjostrom just cranked out a best time in the 100 and tied her WR in the 50 at an unimportant in season meet that doesn’t offer much time to rest. On a side note, Taylor Dale is looking like a top 5 threat in the 100. I also think he might make the Budapest team after that 25.07 50 back yesterday.

Swim Nerd
Reply to  Swim Nerd
4 years ago

Correction: was just told that it was a 24.76, and it was confirmed.

4 years ago


4 years ago

Her time in 50 butterfly was 24.76 … still impressive

Swim Nerd
Reply to  SwimJon
4 years ago

Could be wrong, but article currently says 24.43, is a WR tie.

Ex Quaker
Reply to  Retta Race
4 years ago

Is that the 2nd fastest swim of all time?

Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

3rd. She has a 24.68 too.

Swim Nerd
Reply to  Retta Race
4 years ago


4 years ago

Is Sjostrom still the only woman to go under 25? She crushed the old WR to take it to a 24.4 a few years back and has since made 24s look normal for 50 fly (just like her 23.9s at 50 free). Is there anyone even close?

Reply to  Mac
4 years ago

Only woman to go under 25.07. Only woman in textile to go under 25.2.

Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

In my opinion it’s one of the most insane swimming records any stroke, any distance, any pool, any era, men or women. Doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.

Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

What did Fran Halsall do at the commonwealth games again? I thought that was about a 25.2?

Reply to  Rice
4 years ago

Yeah, I think Halsall is number 2 textile. Very close with Ottesen though.

Swim Nerd
Reply to  Mac
4 years ago

Second fastest ever is Alshammar with a 25.07.

Reply to  Mac
4 years ago

Sjostrom is still the only women to go under 25 seconds in 50m butterfly. She broke Therese Alshammars (SWE) old WR (25.07). If you look at women’s 50m butterfly final in Kazan 2 years ago, Sarah Sjostrom won with a time of 24.96 while Jeanette Ottesen took silver with a time of 25.34. So the second woman nearest sub-25 is Therese Alshammar!

Reply to  Liam
4 years ago

And starting this year, Sarah is coached by Therese’s ‘husband’.

4 years ago

Sarah’s 100 freestyle PB finally matches up to her other three(four) events. She looked rather chocked afterwards. Outdoor pools seem to suit her.

JP input is too short
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

You might be right – her breakout meet was the 2009 World Championships in Rome, and that was outdoors if I remember correctly!

Reply to  JP input is too short
4 years ago

Yeah – that was her world breakout the way she crushed Jessica Shippers on the last 50 for a world record in the final.

Reply to  SwimJon
4 years ago

Yep. Breakout in Rome(where she’s always been blazing it at Sette Colli aswell) and also 50 fly WR was outdoor in Sweden. Now this. Won’t compete at Sette Colli this year, but the Swedish nationals are outdoors too!

Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

Exactly. 100free was the only question mark for Budapest. Not anymore. Now we have two ladies likely to grab 4 individual golds. Wondering if Hosszu can keep up with them.

4 years ago

Watching her race reminds me of Popov. The least hurried but the fastest. Even in the 50 she just…dives in and grabs a hold of the water and moves ahead and never looks sprintish. And the 100… well.. both SS and C1 (until Rio) have this calmness… the others are sprinting, SS just leaves them behind… very Popovish

4 years ago

Sjoström ?
Superb time. The WR is going to fall soon. ?

Reply to  MoreDrama
4 years ago

It took three years for Cate Campbell to leap just once under 52.33 to 52.06.
However she does have four under 52.4 results. Because of that dominance besides the world record I considered Cate Campbell the greatest sprinter ever. If Sarah Sjostrom proves that the time she showed to day isn’t just a lucky exception I would think that both Cate and Sarah can share the title of the Queen of Sprint, regardless if she breaks world record or not.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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