Sarah Sjöström Blasts 2nd-Fastest-Ever 23.83 50 Free in Stockholm


  • Saturday, April 8 – Tuesday, April 11, 2017
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Live results

After putting up world-leading times in the 50 and 100 fly earlier this weekend, Swedish star Sarah Sjöström has posted her most impressive swim of the meet. Winning the 50 free tonight, she blasted a 23.83 for a new Swedish national record. The old record was a 23.88 from Therese Alshammar back in 2009.

Sjöström’s old personal best was a 23.98 from back in 2014. This morning, she went 24.01 in the prelims, signaling that there was more to come tonight. This is only the second time that she’s broken the 24-second barrier, and only the third time a Swedish woman has broken 24 seconds in this event.

Her 24.01 from prelims tied her January world-leading time. Now, with her 23.83, she puts herself even more ahead as the fastest swimmer in the world this year.

2016-2017 LCM WOMEN 50 FREE

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Sjöström’s 50 free in Rio was her most disappointing race, as she won medals in the 100 and 200 free and gold in the 100 fly, but failed to make the 50 free A final. With her time from today, she would have won Olympic gold by more than two tenths of a second, a considerable margin in the shortest Olympic race in the sport.

More impressively, this is the second-fastest time in history, and the fastest swim since Germany’s Britta Steffen’s world record from eight years ago.

50 free all-time top performances

  1. Britta Steffen 23.73 (2009)
  2. Sarah Sjöström 23.83 (2017)
  3. Cate Campbell 23.84 (2016)
  4. Therese Alshammar 23.88 (2009)
  5. Cate Campbell 23.93 (2016)

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5 years ago

She went 52.54 in the 100 today

5 years ago

I hope that in Budapest, for once, Swedish coaches let her swim individual events only.
They are more likely to win more total golds/medals that way.

Human Ambition
Reply to  NYJOHN
5 years ago

Probably there will be a medley relay. I believe the five 200s pulled the plug until the 50 free. She was laying on the floor in the call room.

5 years ago

It’s a shame that Sarah had to swim all those useless relays prelims and finals in Rio. In hindsight, with the collapse of Cate, and being a lot more fresh without those Sweden’s hopeless relays, she could have won 50-100 free in addition of 100 fly and 200 free medal.

Reply to  NYJOHN
5 years ago

That is Sarah’s bad luck. When it was almost 100% chance to win world title at 200 free in Kazan she didn’t compete but focused on sprint in fly and freestyle where Bronte Campbell was superb that year. When it was real chance to win gold medals in sprint freestyle in Rio she didn’t focus on it competing at 200 when Ledecky was at her best ever form. Now she is very strong at freestyle already making personal bests and competition at 200 free looks weak again. The temptation is high. I hope she won’t succumb to it.

Reply to  NYJOHN
5 years ago

Yeah it sucks being a great teammate and a national hero. No indirect personal benefits there. I’d love to hear her take on it. It’s not all about individual performances.

5 years ago

Very impressive! Well done Sarah!

5 years ago

What good about Sarah Sjostrom’s record is that this is a strong signal to Cate Campbell that this is no time to rest on her laurels. Nothing stands still and if she doesn’t stop this unexplainable insanity of not competing then she will be dethrone pretty soon. Her response to Sarah should be a world record that everybody expected from her last year.
So Sarah swims 100 free tomorrow and Cate swims 50 in two days after that. So the competition of ambitions of being the fastest ever has started. That is what Cate Campbell values probably more than Olympic medal.

Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

What laurels? No podium at Rio? She’s already been dethroned by Simone and Oleksiak. When you don’t win the Olympics the year you’re heavily favored — especially when you choke so much you don’t even medal — you’re an afterthought from then on. See Magnussen. Fastest ever AND Olympic champion is what people remember.

Reply to  Bigly
5 years ago

Besides the success at Olympic Games that is actually a performance at just one meet in four years there are some other more reliable statistics that can be used as a measure of superiority. Like personal bests, distribution of best 10- 20 performances, number of performances among best 10-20-50 top all-time performances, etc
If you look at Cate Campbell’s data under this angle you will see very impressive picture of dominance.

Reply to  Bigly
5 years ago

Bigly, you are right.

People remember Zhuang Yong and Qian Hong but not Jenny Thompson.
People remember Camelia Potec but who is this Franziska van Almsick you’re talking about?
Yes, people are more familiar with Uwe Dassler than Tim Shaw
Sure, Daichi Suzuki is the name most people remember than David Berkoff.

I can go on and on and on.

IMs for days
5 years ago

Sjostrom has always been fast in season, but she has always managed to improve on those times at the big championships. Based her 56 second 100 fly, she still has room to improve this season. Could she do to the 50 free what she did to the 50 fly? Unlikely but a fun thought. I’m excited to see her 100 free.

Reply to  IMs for days
5 years ago

Highly unlikely.
Her 50 fly strokes are outrageous and only she can execute such very flat no breathing technique brilliantly in 50 fly.

Keep in mind that when she did that 24.4, her times in the other events were similar to what she’s doing now.

There’s reason why only three out of all super talented women sprinters ever have swum sub-24 in textile, and even then, only Cate has done it more than twice.

Sarah is like Cate and Katie, they all can swim extremely fast in season, unrested, untapered.

5 years ago


5 years ago

Will a women finally break 24 at a worlds or Olympics…it’s been a long wait since Britta

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  North
5 years ago

Hope so!

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.

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