arena Swim of the Week: Michelle Coleman Breaks Through With First Major Individual Title

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

It was a breakthrough type of moment for Michelle Coleman on Wednesday, as the veteran finally got her moment at the top of the podium.

Coleman, a 30-year-old who has been a member of three Swedish Olympic teams and raced at the highest level of the sport for more than a decade, won gold in the women’s 50 freestyle at the European Short Course Championships in Otopeni, her first individual title at a major international event.

Coleman has several international medals on her resume, including one short course world title (200 medley relay in 2021), one long course European title (400 free relay in 2014) and one short course European title (200 medley relay in 2017), but it was a long wait until she got to stand on top of the podium on her own.

After leading the prelims of the women’s 50 free in 23.74, Coleman entered the final seeded second behind France’s Beryl Gastaldello, who clocked 23.77 to pace Coleman (23.78) and two others, Anna Hopkin and Julie Kepp Jensen, who were under 24 seconds in the semis.

In the final, Coleman delivered in a big way, blasting her way to gold in a time of 23.52, lowering her best time in the event for the first time in four years. She set her previous best of 23.59 back in November 2019.


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The performance came at the tail-end of what’s been a resurgent year for the Vallentuna, Stockholm native, who made her first appearance in an individual final at the Long Course World Championships in the 100 free (she later added a second final in the 50 free) this past summer in Fukuoka.

She was an individual finalist at the 2016 Olympics, however, placing seventh in the women’s 200 free.

In addition to her 50 free title, Coleman has also won gold on the Swedish women’s 200 free relay (23.29 split) and 200 medley relay (23.07 anchor), and also placed fourth in the 100 free individually on Friday.

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2 months ago

So deserving

2 months ago

She also swam in the olympic final for the 200fr in Rio

Last edited 2 months ago by Jupp

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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