Sarah Sjostrom Makes Seamless Fly Return With 50m Win At Sette Colli


  • Friday, June 25th – Sunday, June 27th
  • Swimming Stadium of the Foro Italico, Rome, Italy
  • LCM (50m)
  • Olympic Qualifying Competition
  • Start Lists
  • Live Results

Swedish powerhouse Sarah Sjostrom made a triumphant return to butterfly racing on Friday, opening the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome with a victory in the women’s 50 fly in a time of 25.42.

Just over one month ago, Sjostrom, the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 fly, had reservations on whether or not she would swim the event at the Tokyo Games, with her recovery from elbow surgery in February only allowing her to begin swimming fly in early May.

“I’m not as strong in my right arm, I lost almost four centimeters of muscle mass around my broken arm,” Sjostrom said in an interview last month.

“Of course I hope that the butterfly swimming will work all of a sudden,” she said. “But I am not very hopeful that the butterfly will work until the Olympics. It will be difficult.”

After making her return to racing at the Canet stop of the Mare Nostrum Tour at the beginning of June, placing third in both the women’s 50 free (24.68 – prelims) and 100 free (54.84), the 27-year-old tackled fly for the first time in Rome.

Taking on a competitive field at the Sette Colli Trophy, Sjostrom’s time of 25.42 narrowly edged out current world #1 Ranomi Kromowidjojo (25.43), with fellow Swede Michelle Coleman (26.08) third and Danish veteran Jeanette Ottesen (26.35) fourth.

Speaking after the race, Sjostrom was extremely pleased with the performance.

“This was the best butterfly comeback I could’ve done,” she told SwimSwam post-race, adding that she was surprised by the time, and expected to be around a second slower.

Sjostrom also spoke about the possibility of her racing the 100 fly in Tokyo, saying that she’ll consider it if she’s in the 57.5 range in tomorrow’s race. You can watch her interview below:

Sjostrom, who moves into third in the 2020-21 world rankings with her performance, owns the 15-fastest swims in history in the women’s 50 fly, with the world record sitting at 24.43 from back in 2014.

The 25.42 clocking is comparable to several of her in-season swims in recent years. In 2019, prior to winning a third straight world title in the event, Sjostrom’s fastest in-season swim was 25.32.

In addition to Friday’s 50 fly and the 100 fly, which will be on Saturday, Sjostrom is also scheduled to swim the women’s 50 and 100 free. The 100 free will follow the 100 fly on Saturday, separated by approximately 26 minutes during the afternoon session, while the 50 free is on Sunday.

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2 months ago

Sarah, will you marry me?

Reply to  t-bone
2 months ago

Came looking for copper and found gold

2 months ago

Mind over matter. Dang!

2 months ago

One of my fav swimmers. She can’t be stopped!

Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

She needed two more months

2 months ago

I hope she continues to heal well. She just has a brightness in her personality that I love to see.

2 months ago

Who doesn’t love Sarah? I think we’re all rooting for her to have a great Olympics.

I have always wondered what she would go for a 100 back if she concentrated on it and swam it at a taper meet given that she’s already been under a minute unrested without any focus on the event.

2 months ago

This incredible athlete continues to amaze me. SHE BROKE HER ELBOW IN FEBRUARY

2 months ago

She’s a MF Cyborg

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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