Blueseventy Swim of the Week: The Two Fastest 50 Frees In History


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.

One single race in Berlin this weekend launched the two fastest short course meter 50 freestyles in history in side-by-side lanes.

The story of the swim begins five days earlier, when Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom used the opening leg of the FINA World Cup to blast a 23.10, breaking a two-year-old world record and earning a $10,000 bonus in the World Cup’s prize money system.

The previous world record-holder, the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojowas second in that race at 23.39, just over a tenth off her old record.

Fast forward to five days later, and it was Kromowidjojo picking up the $10K payday, smashing a 22.93 to become the first woman ever under 23 seconds in the race. One lane down from her was Sjostrom, who bettered her own personal best with a 23.00 good for second place.

That means in the past six days, we’ve seen the three fastest 50 freestyles in history, two of them in the same race in Berlin.

The new World Cup rules should mean that the 50 free won’t be part of the competition program on the tour’s next stop in Eindhoven this week. But in just two stops, Sjostrom has made over $30,000 and Kromowidjojo almost $17,000. The tour continues with 7 more stops, and the first cluster bonuses handed out after the Eindhoven stop. (Full money lists here.)


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bobo gigi

After the not forced to swim the prelims’ rule for the stars, after the anti-Hosszu 4-event-per-leg rule, here’s the turnover of events. No 50 free in Eindhoven. Ranomi can’t swim her best event at home. Another brilliant decision from FINA.


Yo Bobo, I don’t think that decision was that smart… Wouldn’t you want her to be able to swim her best event at her home swim meet?

bobo gigi

Sarah Sjöström New world record 23.10


Here the sub-23 WR from Ranomi, her turn was better than Sarah’s:

bobo gigi

Sarah Sjöström New world record 50.77


Amazing 3rd leg from Sarah, that made the difference

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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