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 Kromowidjojo, was 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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