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 Pellegrini, who 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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