50 Back WR Holder Medeiros Shifts Focus to Sprint Free for Tokyo

Brazilian Etiene Medeiros, a multi-time FINA World Championships 50 back gold medalist and world record holder, is shifting her focus to sprint freestyle training to prep her Tokyo 2020 Olympic lineup.

Medeiros, 27, won the 50 back at Worlds in 2015, 2016, and 2017, but in 2018 slipped on her start in the semifinal and missed the final. But her sprint freestyle has lagged only slightly behind her backstroke; she’s been a perennial contender in the 50 free on the international level throughout her career. Most prominently, she finished eighth in the 50 at the 2016 Olympics as was the bronze medalist at short course Worlds in 2018, and Medeiros is the South American record holder in both the short course and long course meters event.

“Our focus today is sprint freestyle: the 50 meters and 100 meters free. Because of this, training has changed. If before I did more back and less crawl, now it’s the other way around. I will not leave the backstroke aside, even though I have a lot of evidence and this is another opportunity for me, I like to swim the ‘coast’,” Medeiros told Brazilian site Folhape (translated from Portugese).

“She has skills to swim the 50 meter and 100 meter races in three styles: free, back and butterfly. And now is the time to squeeze a little harder and find a test in which she can have an expressive result like what she already has in the 50 meters back. We have the challenge of finding the best way for her to obtain this medal in the Olympic Games and, at te moment, we see that the 50 meters freestyle is more physical and natural, ” said Medeiros’ Sesi-SP coach Fernando Vanzella.

Medeiros began her international career at 17 with a silver medal in the 50 back at the 2008 FINA Junior World Swimming Championships. She was the first Brazilian woman in history to earn a World Championship gold medal (in both short and long course), and the first to set a world record (SCM 50 back, 25.67) since Maria Lenk did so in 1939.

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3 years ago

Onsidering there is no 50 of stroke at the olympics seems like the logical choice.

3 years ago

interesting shift …….

3 years ago

Needed move
After she went 59 on pan 2015 for the 100 back I thought she would find success on that race but she never did.
Now she found her focus and I wish success, but I wanted to see her swim a 200 IM

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

That woman has some serious fast twitch.

3 years ago

Brave move to go up against sprint queens manuel, oleksiak and co..

Reply to  Verram
3 years ago

She was a finalist in Rio so…

3 years ago

She’s ripped. Mad respect.

3 years ago

Sounds smart. Similar to what Natalie Coughlin did towards the end of her career.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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