Sarah Sjostrom Named to Her 5th Swedish Olympic Team

The Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) has named five swimmers among the first 22 athletes named to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Games next summer. Using the “golden ticket” iconography, this is the most that the SOK has ever named at such an early stage, according to team leader Peter Reinebo.

The swimmers named in the initial passage are:

Stars indicate number of Olympic appearances, including 2024.

Also named in the first run are a wrestler, cyclist, four track and field athletes, a judoka, two canoeists, five sailors, one shooter, and two beach volleyball players. Three equestrian teams and a men’s table tennis pair will also represent Sweden, though those 12 athletes have not yet been named.

Swimmers tie with sailors as the biggest group among the initial pass. Sweden won nine medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: three gold and six silver. That included one silver medal in swimming from Sarah Sjostrom in the women’s 50 free in spite of breaking her elbow earlier that year.

That was their best gold medal output since the 2004 Games, and was also their smallest team (23) since the 2004 Games (19).

Sweden sent 136 athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, which is about average by their standards in the new millennium. Their biggest-ever squad was in 1912, when Stockholm hosted, with 444 athletes.

2024 Swimmers

The specific events in which these swimmers have been pre-selected are:

While the women’s relays are not technically qualified because they were not top three at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, their 5th place finishes in both events all-but-assures them of a spot in Paris.

For Sjostrom, this will be her 5th Olympic Games since beginning at the 2008 Games in Beijing, the only of the last eight summer events where Sweden won no gold medals. She turned 15 during those Games.

Now, at 30, with a number of injuries in her luggage, she is doing some of her best swimming ever – albeit largely in a full commitment to sprint freestyles and a shift away from the butterfly events that made her famous. She was the 2023 World Champion in the 50 free and 50 fly, including a new World Record in the former event.

Sjostrom is the oldest of the initial five, followed by Michelle Coleman (who will be 31 by the time the Games start), Erik Persson (who turns 30 in January), Louise Hansson (turns 27 on Friday), and Sophie Hansson (turns 26 during the Games).

All five had finishes of at least 9th in an Olympic event at the 2023 World Championships, though only Sjostrom medal’ed. Sophie Hansson (7th – 100 breast) and Michelle Coleman (7th – 50 free/100 free) also qualified for individual Olympic finals.

At the 2022 World Championships, Sjostrom won two gold and one bronze medal, while Persson won silver in the men’s 200 breaststroke.

13 swimmers attended the 2023 World Championships, and 10 (four men, six women) attended the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. While the core of the Swedish team is very experienced and very good, between now and Paris, the country will be looking for a new generation to arise and prepare to take that mantle, with the junior ranks sitting rather thin for the Swedes at the moment.

The country had three swimmers win five total medals at the European Junior Championships, with no golds among them (breaststroker Olivia Klint, butterflier Emmy Kallkvist, and IM’er Lisa Nystrand). That was their most total medals at the European Junior Championships since 2017.

Photographs of Olympic Swimmers

Sweden’s female swimmers posted photos on social media celebrating with their ‘golden tickets.’ Persson, who is much less active on social media, has not posted his photo on Instagram.

 

 

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Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
6 months ago

If Sarah doesn’t win the 50 free next year then surely she’ll go down as the best freestyler to never win a freestyle event at the Olympics. I doubt it will matter because she seems like a sure thing.

Pieter H
Reply to  Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
6 months ago

Currently, best freestyler ever to never win a freestyle event at the Olympics is Franzi van Almsick.

Sarah will take the crown next year if she doesn’t win free gold.

Aquajosh
Reply to  Pieter H
6 months ago

I’d put Anders Holmertz and Giorgio Lamberti in that discussion too.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Pieter H
6 months ago

Don’t agree. van Almsick would still be better.

Sub13
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
6 months ago

Why is that? I feel like Sjostrom’s achievements are much stronger than Van Almsick’s. Only one individual world title compared to Sjostrom’s 3 freestyle (12 including butterfly)

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
6 months ago

Sarah has had a top 10 career all time (both genders)

Sub13
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 months ago

I agree. There are currently 12 swimmers who have 4+ individual Olympic golds. Hard to argue Sarah beats any of them when she only has 1. Although her career is remarkable.

Nick the biased Aussie
6 months ago

Will Sjostrom do the 100 free or 100 fly or both? Hope she’s in more than just the 50 free and relays.

Pieter H
Reply to  Nick the biased Aussie
6 months ago

The problem is recurring for Sjostrom:

She will have to swim prelims in both relays.

It’s why in 2016 Rio she was so spent after swimming all relays prelims/finals + 100/200 free + 100 fly prelims/semis/final that she didn’t even qualify for 50 free.

Imagine that: Sjostrom didn’t qualify for 50 free final.

I’d rather Sjostrom win 50 free gold, since she hasn’t won Olympics gold medal in a freestyle event and she’s supposed to be the greatest sprinter ever.

In Fukuoka she focused on 50 free/fly and you could see the results.

When you’re older you just don’t recharge and refresh as fast as when you’re younger no matter how freakishly talented you are.

Sub13
Reply to  Pieter H
6 months ago

How important is making a relay final for non-major swimming countries? Like surely it’s better for Sjostrom to skip the relays altogether when they risk her individual chances and essentially have zero chance of medalling

frug
6 months ago

That will be a very tall, very blonde medley relay.

ooo
6 months ago

Why Sarah did not Join Michelle (who deserves the nomination) over 100 free?

Andrew
6 months ago

Sjostrom’s longevity is criminally under appreciated

tashswam
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

Agreed!!!

snailSpace
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

I really appreciate it!!

bubbles
6 months ago

congrats to everyone!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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