Like Clockwork, Sjöström Splits 52.3 on Relay at Swedish Nationals


Two days of competition have finished in the southwestern part of Sweden, and the country’s star, Sarah Sjöström, has already put down two very impressive swims.

As we’ve gotten used to, the 24-year-old was exceptional in the sprint free and fly, clocking a win in the 100 fly (56.83) and notching a very quick 52.30 split on the Södertörns 4×100 free relay. Her 100 fly time this week was off of her 56.29 season best, which ranks her 2nd behind Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee, while this year she’s been as fast as 52.77 in the 100 free flat start, which leaves her 5th in the world rankings. Sjöström is the world record holder in both events, at 51.71 in the free and 55.48 in the fly.

Louise Hansson, who attends and swims for USC in the United States, continues to chip away at personal bests. She hit a new PR in the 100 fly to finish 2nd behind Sjöström, clocking a 58.08 to shave .04 off of her old PR of 58.12, which was done at the Mesa PSS in April. Sweden has fallen short of relay podium finishes time and time again, despite the tireless work of Sjöström, but some improvements from Hansson could give them the push they need to contend for an international medal.

Hansson has also won the 200 free thus far in the meet (2:00.47), and she led off Helsingborgs’ winning 4×100 free relay with a 55.02, about a half second off of her PR there.

Other strong relay splits came from Michelle Coleman (54.66 lead-off) and Ida Lindborg (55.10 with flying start).

Hansson’s younger sister, Sophie Hansson, who is committed to swim for NC State University, has racked up two wins of her own over the first two days of racing. A breaststroke specialist, Hansson won the 50 breast (31.49) and the 200 breast (2:28.79). In the 50 breast, 2004-born Emelie Fast raced to a solid 32.09 for third. Fast was the only person born after 2000 in the women’s 50 breast A final, and she added a 58.97 freestyle lead-off leg on Södertörns’ relay with Sjöström.

Christoffer Carlsen has taken two victories this week, winning the 50 fly and the 100 free. In the 50 fly, he was 24.24 for the win, while he was the only sub-50 finisher in the 100 free at 49.63.

Swedish record holders Erik Persson and Victor Johansson both notched wins of their own, too. Persson won the 200 breast (2:11.26) handily, while Johansson, who will join Hansson at USC in the States, raced to the 1500 free win at 15:28.14. Persson’s NR stands at 2:07.85, and Johansson’s at 15:03.74.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

is Michelle Coleman still swimming fast 100 backs? I just haven’t heard much about her lately. The medley relay of Coleman/Hansson/Hansson/sjostrom could be pretty competitive.

Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

Michelle Coleman will not swim this years European Championships.

Karl Ortegon
Reply to  Klorn8d
4 years ago

Not sure about her backstroke, but Louise Hansson went a 1:01 high PB in May and was 1:01 high again this morning in the 100 back. Not good enough yet, but having her be a 1:00-low or better would mean Sjostrom could take fly and Coleman could anchor. Would be pretty solid, but that’s still depending on a lot more improvement from Hansson who is much more of a flyer.

Reply to  Karl Ortegon
4 years ago

But Hansson is nearing the sub 1:01. She went 1:0.22 I think.

4 years ago

I feel sorry for the other kids. All hyped to anchor their club relay at nationals and one club drops Sara Sjostrom, going a 52.3, on the last leg!

Patrick S
Reply to  Togger
4 years ago

Sarah didn’t swim the last leg, she swam the third. Her split didn’t help much either in terms of placement, her team finished in fifth place.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »