Sarah Sjostrom Breaks Steffen’s Super-Suit Record in 50 Free Semi


Sarah Sjostrom hasn’t been unbeatable at this meet (she took silver in the individual 100 free), but in every other way she’s been as good as expected based on the season of performances she’s had so far.

On Saturday in the 50 free semi-finals, Sarah Sjostrom swam a 23.67 which took Britta Steffen‘s 23.73 World Record from 2009.

There are now only 3 long course women’s World Records remaining from the super-suit era in 2008 and 2009:

  • 200 free – Federica Pellegrini, 1:52.98, 2009
  • 50 back – Zhao Jing, 27.06, 2009
  • 200 fly – Liu Zige, 2:01.81, 2009
  • 800 free relay – China, 7:42.08, 2009

Steffen’s swim was also the old European Record that Sjostrom broke. Sjostrom’s previous best of 23.83 came in April this year at the Swim Open Stockholm.

Sjostrom now has 2 World Records at this meet (100 free, 50 free), 2 gold medals (50 fly, 100 fly), one silver medal (100 free), and a top seed headed into Saturday’s 50 free final.

Pernille Blume, the 2016 Olympic Champion, is the 2nd qualifier in 24.05.

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I think it’s supposed to say “sjostrom now has 2…” and not Steffen 😉 what an amazing performance from Sarah- so deserving!

Big Calves

She’s awesome


This shows that she had a bad day yesterday! I hope Sarah takes the gold tomorrow!


She lost the damn 100 free get over it.


2x in a row at the biggest events


Yeah, it was not a good swim yesterday. She had age group finish. Looking up before completely touched the pad.
She also went out stupidly fast at 24.75, allowing Manuel to draft off her. Similar to what happened in Rio, except Sarah was able to swim straight while Campbell circle swam, going from one side of the lane to the other side during the second 50.

Dave Rollins

I would argue that she took the 100 out exactly where she should have. She’s the world record holder in the 50 at 23.6. She was out in 24.7. Plus 1.1 is about perfect.
CD was 21.1 in the 50, yet takes the 100 out in 22.2 or 22.3. Plus 1.1 or 1.2.
Seems like she was right where she was capable of.
To me, it looks like she shortened up her stroke the last 25 and misjudged her finish. Where as CD puts his head down, elongates his stroke and accelerates to the wall.
She has had an incredible meet, fastest ever in 4 events is quite the accomplishment.
Cheering her on in the final!


1.1 seconds off 23.6 is quite significantly smaller gap than 1.2 seconds off 21.1

She went out 24.83 in her WR swim. That was perfect.


I hope she doesn’t break WR in the semis only to lose the final. That would be tragic.


That could be disappointment bud in no way it will be tragic. Do you remember names of all these world champions that can change each two years? But you definitely know who Britta Steffen is. Her record stood for eight years. I think that Sarah’s achievement will live even longer. She holds four world records in different swimming disciplines simultaneously and probably will stay in this state for long long time. That is the bottom line of this meet.


BTW, who else have four or more world records at the same time and for how long? For example, Ledecky has only ( 🙂 ) three but since June 2014 for 38 months already.


Off the top of my head, Lorraine Crappe, John Konrad, Debbie Meyer, Don Schollander, Shane Gould, Mark Spitz, Kornelia Ender, Michael Gross, Tim Shaw, Inge de Bruijn, Michael Phelps. And now Sarah Sjostrom.


I just made quick check (maybe inaccurate) and haven’t find the period of time in MP’s career when he hold simultaneously four world records.


After the 2009 USA swimming world trials when he broke Crockers, 100 fly record, and also held the 200 fly, 200/400 IMs. He held 4 until Lochte broke the 200 IM record at WCs. So for about a month in 2009, Phelps held 4 WRs.


And don’t forget about 200 free. So that’s 5 WRs.


Phelps also had the 200 free record until Biedermann’s 1.42.00 at Rome 2009. So, going into that meet Phelps held 5 WRs by my count.

He held 4 WRs after Melbourne 2007 and Beijing 2008 with the 200 free, 200 fly, 200/400IM. Then 5 WRs after 2009 US Trials.

At Rome he lost the 200 free WR on Jul 28 and 200 IM WR on Jul 30. Cavic then took the 100 fly WR during the semis on Jul 31, so Phelps was down to two WRs before regaining the 100 fly WR a day later. Ever since then he remains on 3 WRs. 100/200 fly and 400 IM.


Five WRs going into Rome 2009. He lost three (200 free, 200 IM, 100 fly), then regained the 100 fly. Since his 49.82 Phelps has held 3 WRs to this day. Dressel almost took him back today to two. Milak and maybe Kalisz could some day take the other two. The 400 IM record will probably be the last to go.


Don’t forget about relay world records. Those count.


Also Aaron Peirsol (If you count relays)


I agree with you that Sarah’s freestyle WRs and 50 fly WR will last for a long time. She might still not stop breaking her free WRs though. Scary thought.


All top athletes believe “big-time players make big-time plays in big games.”

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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