Pernille Blume Swims 24.17 in 50 Free While Dealing with “Back Problems”


After winning the 50 free on Sunday at the Sette Colli Trophy in a time of 24.17, Danish sprinter Pernille Blume revealed that she had been dealing with “back problems” all week in the leadup to the race. Those problems, Blume says, kept her out of the 100 free earlier in the meet.

That time for Blume is about a tenth shy of the 24.06 that she swam in May at the European Championships in Budapest, where she tied for silver with Poland’s Kasia Wasick.

Blume has dealt with several health-related issues since winning the Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio.

In December, Blume said she suffered a “minor wrist injury“; In April, she spent time out of the water after testing positive for COVID-19; and in 2019, she underwent heart surgery to close a ‘small hole’ in her heart.

In spite of those challenges, Blume is still ahead of the pace she was in the 50 free in the leadup to the Olympic gold in Rio. In her last pre-Olympic swim in the 50 free in 2016, she swam 24.84 in the 50 free.

She beat out two of her primary sprint competitors, too: the European Champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who placed 3rd in 24.36, and the World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom (24.25 for 2nd), who is working her way back from a broken elbow.

Watch Blume’s brief post-race interview from Sunday in Rome, captured by SwimSwam Italia’s Giusy Cisale.

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Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
2 years ago

What did you do to her Manaudou

2 years ago

Haha the “Back Problems” in quotes in the headline made me laugh. Like they’re putting air quotes around it or something.

Oh, her, in the corner? That’s Pernille. She’s got “back problems.”

Anyway good swim, hoping for as few injuries as possible across the board going into Tokyo.

Personal Best
2 years ago

Shaping up to be a tough 50 field! That’s a great time.

Corn Pop
2 years ago

Back problems ……. Given.people get sent to swimming to relieve & build up against back problems, we have plenty of back problems in elite swimming.

Reply to  Corn Pop
2 years ago

Elite sports are definitely not healthy, putting your body under so much load is gonna cost a price over the years

2 years ago

Hope she makes the podium again!

Last edited 2 years ago by Drewbrewsbeer
2 years ago

She’s such a baddie

Reply to  Guy
2 years ago

Not as bad as alex walsh

Not Tapered
2 years ago

Hope she feels good in Tokyo 🗼 and takes the gold.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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