Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Sjostrom Strikes Back In Eindhoven


Disclaimer: BlueSeventy 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 BlueSeventy Swim 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.

Sarah Sjostrom has already been tearing it up on the World Cup series, but this week, she very clearly went out of her way to earn SwimSwam’s prestigious Swim of the Week award.

Sjostrom had already broken two world records at the first tour stop in Moscow… but that meet came right after World Champs, and we ranked down the long course world records for that week’s featured swim. Then the following weekend in Berlin, Ranomi Kromowidjojo broke the 50 free world record and Sjostrom put up the 2nd-fastest swim all-time, and those took precedence over Sjostrom’s older records.

But this weekend in Eindhoven, Sjostrom would not be denied the title, which was undoubtedly more important to her than the $10,000 world record bonus, a 90-point World Cup points lead or a $50,000 cluster points bonus. Sjostrom smashed two more world records, this time coming up in the 100 free (50.58) and 200 free (1:50.43).

That 200 free, interestingly enough, retroactively boosts Sjostrom’s case in the World Championship rivalry with Katie Ledecky. Sjostrom won three individual golds in Budapest; Ledecky won five total golds, but only three of them individual. But Ledecky lost the 200 free, a race in which she beat Sjostrom at the 2016 Olympics, but that Sjostrom did not enter in 2017. But in Eindhoven, Sjostrom beat Federica Pellegriniwho was the one to beat Ledecky in Budapest. So by beating the one who beat Ledecky, does Sjostrom create the argument that she, too, could have beaten Ledecky in the 200 in Budapest?

Of course, there’s the short course to long course transition that makes the whole argument a moot point. But the one thing that is certain is that Sjostrom’s big weekend gives her unquestioned possession of SwimSwam’s blueseventy Featured Swim of the Week for the week. Not even $50K can buy that status.


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Sjostrom also beat Pellegrini in the LCM 200 at Energy for Swim, 1:55.5 to 1:55.7. Obviously not a championship meet format with 3 rounds, but still worth noting.

Jim C

Please don’t forget that Ledecky’s fastest time at the Worlds was faster than any other woman has swum this year, 1:54.69 in the semis.


In the single race, IMHO SS is the best 200 freestyler in the world (she probably has a 1.53 flat in her) but in 3 rounds I don’t think she can beat KL.


Why can’t she?
Pellegrini did beat Ledecky in 3 rounds.
The 200 free final in Rio was Sarah’s 8th swim and she gave Ledecky her toughest swim ever.


Ledecky beat herself with that absurb semifinal after a 1500 final. The next day she was drained out and pellegrini take advantage of that.
And again, SS is a sprinter and 3 rounds of 200 are a problem for a sprinter just look at Scott in Budapest.

Jim C

I am willing to predict that in two years Sjostrom will beat Ledecky in 3 rounds in the individual 200 free if she is willing to do what Pellegrini did this year and make the 200 free her only individual event at Worlds.


Why she should give up to 3-4 golds to compete with KL in a race she doesn’t even like?

Jim C

I consider Ledecky’s 5 gold medals of which only 3 are in individual events to be better than Sjostrom’s 4 individual gold medals of which only 3 actually exist.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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