American Rebecca Soni, one of the best breaststrokers in the world, is sitting out 2013. The rest of the world, though, has rushed into that cavity, as women’s breaststroking has been one of the hot-spots around the world in 2012.
The latest is Sweden’s Jennie Johansson, who on day 2 of the 2013 Swedish Nationals in Halmstad broke the National Record in the 50 breaststroke in 30.61, which breaks her own mark set last June.
In 2nd was Rebecca Ejdervik, the short course record holder, in 31.68.
Johansson wasn’t the only member of the Swedish women’s team who looked outstanding at this meet, which is not a Worlds qualifier but is still a good tune-up for those championships that begin in three weeks. Sarah Sjostrom has two wins through the first two days of competition, and very nearly broke two Meet Records.
First, on Wednesday, she swam a 1:57.42, which missed her own meet mark by under a tenth. As exciting, if not more so, is the progress made by young 16-year old Louise Hansson. She was 2nd in 1:58.93, which was a personal best by a second-and-a-half. Hansson’s event specialties are very similar to Sjostrom’s, and she’s almost as good too.
They went 1-2 again at the end of Thursday’s finals session in the 100 fly. Sjostrom won in 57.87, and Hansson followed in 59.27. That wasn’t a best time for Hansson, but she did hold off Martina Granstrom (59.43) for 2nd: a big move confidence-wise.
In men’s racing, Simon Sjodin took the men’s 200 fly in 1:59.18. Save for the second 50 meters of the swim, his splits were nearly matched by young 20-year old understudy Jesper Bjork from Stockholm, who took 2nd in 2:01.59.
American-based University of Utah swimmer Kristian Kron, who is preparing for the World University Games that begin this weekend won the 400 IM in 4:25.89. That’s not far off of his best time, so with another week of rest he could do very well in Kazan.
Sjodin opted out of the 100 backstroke, which left Mattias Carlsson to break the Meet Record in 55.62. That’s .04 seconds faster than Pontus Renholm was in the 2008 version of the meet.