2018 Euros Previews: Sjostrom Hunts More History In Women’s Butterfly


  • August 3-9, 2018 (swimming portion)
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre
  • Psych Sheet

Similar to how Adam Peaty is essentially a lock to win the men’s 50 and 100 breaststroke, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom enters the women’s sprint fly events with no one within striking distance.

Sarah Sjostrom sets world record in the 100 fly at at the 2015 FINA world championships Kazan Russia (photo: Mike Lewis, Ola Vista Photography)

In the 50, she holds the world record at 24.43, with no one else in history sub-25. In fact, the next fastest swimmer in the field (Ranomi Kromowidjojo) is nearly a full second slower than her with a PB of 25.38. With two-straight World titles and three-straight European titles, she continues to write history with every swim. Already 25.07 this year, look for a 13th swim under 25 seconds (if not more from prelims and semis).

In the 100, after being upset by Jeanette Ottesen at the 2014 European Championships in Berlin, Sjostrom has been dominant. She broke the world record in Kazan, did it again in Rio, and was just shy in winning her fourth World title last summer in Budapest. No one in the field has been within 1.5 seconds of her 55.48 best time.

In the 50, Kromwidjojo is the leading candidate for silver after finishing in that position at last summer’s World Championships, while France’s Melanie Henique, Belgium’s Kimberly Buys and Germany’s Aliena Schmidtke are also in the mix after making the final in Budapest as well. Emilie Beckmann and Maaike De Waard were also sub-26 last summer, and France’s Marie Wattel is on the rise having been 26.03 earlier this year.

In the 100, Russian Svetlana Chimrova was the only European who joined Sjostrom in the World Championship final last year, placing 7th in 57.24. She’s looked good this year, swimming a 57.23 at the Mare Nostrum stop in Barcelona. Italians Elena Di LiddoIlaria Bianchi, and Great Britain’s Charlotte Atkinson are the other three who have been 57 this year, while Wattel, Schmidtke, Buys and Hungarian Liliana Szilagyi all were in 2017. Others to watch for are 200 fly Commonwealth champion Alys Thomas (GBR) and 2018 NCAA champion Louise Hansson (SWE). This will be Szilagyi’s first big taper meet since leaving her training at the University of Florida, so it will be an important test meet for her new routine.

Alys Margaret Thomas 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

The 200 fly field is a bit more wide open. European swimmers swept the podium in Budapest, but gold medalist Mireia Belmonte (health concerns) and bronze medalist Katinka Hosszu (pared-down schedule) both won’t be in the lineup. That leaves silver medalist Franziska Hentke of Germany leading the pack. She’s hit a 2:05 once per year starting in 2015, and will likely need another to win here. Her biggest challenge will come from Thomas, who had a two-second drop to win the Commonwealth gold in April in 2:05.45.

Chimrova, Szilagyi, Boglarka Kapas and 2017 World Junior champ Emily Large of Great Britain are the leading candidates for bronze provided Hentke and Thomas perform. As will be the case for many countries in different events, the prelims will be a domestic battle to advance. Only two per nation can get out of the heats, so Szilagyi and Kapas will have to contend with Zsuzsanna Jakabos, and Italians Bianchi, Ilaria Cusinato and Alessia Polieri will be in a similar situation.


Place Prediction Name Nationality Lifetime Best 2018 Best
1 Sarah Sjostrom Sweden 24.43 25.07
2 Ranomi Kromowidjojo Netherlands 25.38 25.65
3 Melanie Henique France 25.63 25.63
4 Kimberly Buys Belgium 25.70 26.04
5 Marie Wattel France 26.03 26.03
6 Emilie Beckmann Denmark 25.77 26.20
7 Aliena Schmidtke Germany 25.68 26.38
8 Elena Di Liddo Italy 26.13 26.13


Place Prediction Name Nationality Lifetime Best 2018 Best
1 Sarah Sjostrom Sweden 55.48 56.29
2 Svetlana Chimrova Russia 57.17 57.23
3 Elena Di Liddo Italy 57.38 57.38
4 Ilaria Bianchi Italy 57.27 57.70
5 Marie Wattel France 57.53 58.13
6 Louise Hansson Sweden 58.08 58.08
7 Liliana Szilagyi Hungary 57.54 58.50
8 Charlotte Atkinson Great Britain 57.88 57.88


Place Prediction Name Nationality Lifetime Best 2018 Best
1 Franziska Hentke Germany 2:05.26 2:07.21
2 Alys Thomas Great Britain 2:05.45 2:05.45
3 Liliana Szilagyi Hungary 2:06.59 2:08.01
4 Svetlana Chimrova Russia 2:07.50 2:07.50
5 Boglarka Kapas Hungary 2:07.54 2:07.54
6 Ilaria Cusinato Italy 2:08.78 2:08.78
7 Alessia Polieri Italy 2:07.49 2:08.15
8 Ana Catarina Monteiro Portugal 2:08.06 2:08.06

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I hope Alys Thomas can win the 200. Her 200 at CGs is still the biggest shock swim of the year for me considering her age.


She’ll win if she can go 2.05.4 again. No doubt. Not sure she can though.


50 – Sjöström/Kromowidjojo/Beckmann
100 – Sjöström/Wattel/Chimrova
200 – Kapas/Thomas/Hentke


Sjötröm will win 4 golds. The question is only about the WR’s.
That 200 would be a great shock, but I’m in.


Kapas beat Thomas handily in Rome, and I am not sold on Hentke. Szilagyi I dont expect another 2.06.


I think Blume could win one or both of the freestyle events. Sarah has had a so-so season and has her eyes set on the upcoming seasons already. I get the same feeling with Ranomi.


I think not.


Sjostrom has pretty busy Day 1. A triple, if i’m correct. 50 free, 100 fly, 100free (relay).
I would be surprised to see any world records this day.


“Not so” what? That she isn’t scheduled to swim three events, or she won’t make three finals or she won’t make world record in one of them?


Not so busy.


I dont think that Hentke will win the 200 fly (sadly), but i hope she will win a medal. Given her season so far, anything below 2:06.50 would be great for her. In the end she already has an european title, her sight clearly has to be on the 2020 olympics, if she wins a medal there her career would find an amazing end. 100 fly is gonna be a 3-way race for silver and bronze in my opinion between the two italians and Chimrova, Atkinson and Szilagyi are dark horse. I would be very happy to see Szilagy finally fulfill the promis she gave at the 2014 youth olympic games. From a german perspective i hope that Schmidtke will… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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