Sarah Sjöström Bests 50 Free Championship Record at Euros in 23.74 (VIDEO)


Swedish sprinter Sarah Sjöström took down the championship record in the 50 free final Saturday at the 2018 LEN European Aquatic Championships, besting a record that stood for less than a day.

In an epic head-to-head battle, Sjostrom edged out Pernille Blume by .01 to win gold in 23.74, her second title of the night. She takes out Blume’s championship record set last night in 23.85, while Blume lowers her national record and becomes the 3rd fastest performer in history with her 23.75.

Sjostrom is the world record holder in the race with her 23.67 from 2017, and passes Cate Campbell to become the fastest performer in the world this year. She also now has swum three of the top five fastest 50 freestyles in history, while Blume’s is the fifth-fastest ever.

2017-2018 LCM WOMEN 50 FREE

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In a week another couple of super fast swimmers enters the competition: Cate Campbell and Simone Manuel. It is expected to be as much intense and dramatic as the one on this video. For both swimmers to be as fast as these two girls means breaking their personal best. To be faster means challenging world record.
That is another metric to understand what Sarah and Pernille have done today making this race historical.


For many years I thought the women’s 50 was kinda underwhelming, but looks like it could be THE race globally come 2019 and 2020. We could have five Olympic champions going at it at the same time, all of them within just tenths.


Looks like Blume stayed down too long. She outswam Sjostrom. That was quite a race!


It looked like Blume went deeper off the dive than Sarah and some of the others.

She was really flying there at the end.


Ya, she was definitely a bit deeper and to my eye, Sjostrom had already taken 3 strokes when Blume finally started her break out.


One count too long. I thought Sjostrom began stroking slightly early and was therefore fading slightly at the end. That’s her tendency. But Blume waited that count too long and dug too much of a hole.

Blume is so much better this year. I don’t understand why she fell off slightly in 2017, failing to medal in the world’s 50 and narrowly edging Mallory for bronze in the 100.


She swam faster than at Rio, but others like Manuel improved more. She improved her 100 free a lot, and got the bronze at Worlds when she wasn’t even a finalist before.

So, the 100 at Euros should be another good match-up with Sjostrom.


Blume had a much better finish though, Sjostrom almost hit the wall with her arm first. Could’ve been pretty damn close to a WR.

Blume’s strength is definitely the last 25, Sarah’s is roughly from 15-40. Both can improve their start quite a bit compared to Kromo who I see as the benchmark for women. So needless to say they can go quite a bit faster in the coming years.


Blume took a breath 10 meters before the finish. It cost her the win / record. Seems like the top 50 freestylers are going with zero breaths nowadays.

Steve Nolan

They gotta re-calibrate that WR line.


Yep it always look like it’s gonna be a new WR in almost every 50m race – they need to fix that


In this instance think it’s drawn assuming the swimmers swim every meter of the pool at the same pace. Problem is they don’t factor in the start and turns, meaning the swimmers are way ahead of it until the very end.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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