Sarah Sjostrom Proves She’s Back To Form With 24.89 50 Fly/23.82 50 Free Combo


Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom proved her mettle and then some on the final day of action at the final stop of the 2023 Mare Nostrum Tour.

Just over two years since breaking her elbow in a pre-Olympic Games slip on the ice, as well as just months removed from back pain suffered earlier this year, the 29-year-old is fully back to form.

Competing in Monaco yesterday and today, Sjostrom put up some of the quickest performances of her career to prove once again she is one of the best athletes to ever dive into a pool.

The Swede stuck to the 50m fly and 50m free sprints at this competition, with the events contested as a series of knockout rounds which culminated in a fast and furious duel to wrap up tonight’s session.

In each sprint 50, the prelims (round 1) were held yesterday morning, while the field was reduced to 8 and then 4 in rounds 2 and 3 last night. This evening, round 4 reduced the field to just 2 competitors while round 5 determined the ultimate winner in a head-to-head race.

Let’s take a look at Sjostrom’s performances over the 5 rounds of the women’s 50m fly.

Round 1 – 25.58
Round 2 – 25.25
Round 3 – 25.28
Round 4 – 25.07
Round 5 – 24.89

Sjostrom has held the World Record in this event since clocking a time of 24.43 in 2014. She remains the only woman in history to have ever dipped under the 25-second barrier in this event and has recorded the top 25 times in history.

Before this evening, Sjostrom’s last 24-point 50m fly came at the 2022 World Championships where she put up 24.95 to claim gold in Budapest. Remarkably, her time of 24.89 tonight beat out that gold medal-worthy effort and ranks as the 7th swiftest performance in history.

Sjostrom’s Top 10 LCM 50 Fly Performances

  1. 24.43, 2014
  2. 24.60, 2017
  3. 24.69, 2015
  4. 24.76, 2017
  5. 24.79, 2019
  6. 24.87, 2014
  7. 24.89, 2023
  8. 24.87, 2014
  9. 24.90, 2017
  10. 24.95, 2017 & 2022

Sjostrom remains ranked #1 in the world on the season in the 50m fly, with her return to sub-25 second territory putting the world’s competitors on notice.

2022-2023 LCM Women 50 Fly

2 Yufei
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As for the 50m free, Sjostrom logged the following times over the course of the 5 rounds of competition in Monaco.

Round 1 – 24.57
Round 2 – 24.23
Round 3 – 24.03
Round 4 – 23.82
Round 5 – 23.90

Sjostrom’s 23.82 round 4 outing established a new Mare Nostrum Tour Record, overtaking the previous mark of 23.85 she put on the books in 2017.

She owns the World Record at the 23.67 clocked at the 2017 World Championships and owns 4 of the top 10 performances ever produced in the 50m free.

All-Time Women’s LCM 50 Free Performances

  1. 23.67 – Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  2. 23.69 – Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  3. 23.73 – Britta Steffen (GER), 2009
  4. 23.74 – Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2018
  5. 23.75 – Pernille Blume (DEN), 2018
  6. 23.78 – Cate Campbell (AUS), 2018*
  7. 23.78 – Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2019*
  8. 23.79 – Cate Campbell (AUS), 2018
  9. 23.81 – Cate Campbell (AUS), 2018*
  10. 23.81 – Emma McKeon (AUS), 2021*

Sjostrom’s 23.82 Mare Nostrum Record swim here represents the 11th-swiftest time ever produced and would have garnered her the silver medal at Tokyo behind Olympic champion Emma McKeon‘s 21.81 Olympic Record.

Sjostom remains ranked #1 in this women’s 50m free event on the season, maintaining a scary trajectory heading into Fukuoka.

2022-2023 LCM Women 50 Free

WR 23.61
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1 year ago

Sarah is such a talent, with incredible longevity to match.

Now I really hope she can get that elusive Olympic gold in a freestyle event.

draft chaser
1 year ago

Watching SS touch for silver in japan was awesome – she looked so proud and happy

1 year ago

We always talk about Sjostrom as a stellar sprinter, but I love to remember that she was also an incredible 200 freestyler — one who could give Ledecky a run for her money at her peak.

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Bryan
1 year ago

Rio was a cracker of a race. That last 50 was fantastic.

Reply to  Bryan
1 year ago

Am I that old that people now need to be reminded of this, as in people weren’t around / have forgotten 😭

Reply to  Bryan
1 year ago

4:06 for 400FR when she actually hadn’t practice for this event consistently isn’t bad at all.
But by Sarah’s own words she hates training for anything longer than 100m.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Sarah’s weakness is probably breaststroke, with that in mind I found that she did a 1.23.7 LCM breaststroke (none taper meet) at the age of 13. She did pull off a 31.51 SCM breaststroke at Swedish Nationals when she was 18. She was willing (or convinced) to try some little longer swims as she grew up. PB’s in longer events (for being Sarah)

800 SCM Free taper meet age 16 – 8.39.3
400 SCM IM none taper age 13 – 5.09.9
400 LCM IM none taper age 15 – 5.02.3
200 LCM Fly (think no taper, mid-season meet) age 16 – 2.12.2
200 LCM IM (think no taper, mid-season meet) age 17 – 2.16.5

1 year ago

whats the longest period of time we’ve seen between an athlete’s first individual WC/Oly medal and their last? Off the top of my head, Ervin hit 16 (2000-2016), Phelps got to 15 (2001-2016), Pellegrini got to 14 (2005-2019), and Sjostrom is currently at 13 (2009-2022+)

Reply to  jeff
1 year ago

If SCM counts then I believe that Santos has 2004 – 2022

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  ooo
1 year ago

It doesn’t

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

And if water-polo counts 🙂 there is of course the Duke 1912 – 1932 ( WP bronze )

Reply to  jeff
1 year ago

Dara Torres would be my guess, 1984 to 2008 (24). Though if you are only counting individual it’s just 2000 to 2008 (8). If it’s only golds and relays still count it’s 1984 to 2000 (16). Individual gold only would completely eliminate her.

She has a pretty crazy career medaling at 5 different Olympics. She had the world record in the 50 free for a few years (83, 84), as well as several relays (92 and 2000). 12 Olympic medals totals. Medaled in 5 events in 2000 (at 33 years old).

Grant Hackett was 1998 to 2015 since he was on the 4×200 in 2015. If you count SC it would be 97.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin
Reply to  Kevin
1 year ago

oh yeah I was originally gonna do relays too but felt it would be unfair to the countries that aren’t swimming superpowers. Like if Sjostrom swam for the US she’d be on the 4×100 free for eternity

Reply to  jeff
1 year ago

If you are counting medals of any colour, Pellegrini won her first one in 2004 (silver in Athens, 200 free)

Reply to  Luigi
1 year ago

oh yeah i was counting any color medal and missed the 04 Olympics but wow conveniently my list works for gold medals too

1 year ago

Nearly half a second faster than anyone else in both events! Proving naming a sprint award after her is well-deserved!

Popovici is Caeleb's Daddy
Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
1 year ago

Not in 50 free

Reply to  Popovici is Caeleb's Daddy
1 year ago

In round 4 of the 50 free it was 0.52 seconds to 2nd place and in round 5 it was 0.70 seconds, so a little over half a second each time.

1 year ago

After the olympics and also the past few years, Sarah is hungry to show she’s still the best sprinter on the planet. Never doubt the heart of a champion. Happy Sarah is doing better than before and has so much she can still do in her events now.

1 year ago

51.71 is an absurd world record. Overshadowed a bit by the fact she couldn’t back it up in the individual final.

Reply to  Jonathan
1 year ago

Ya, for reference Emma Mckeon’s 51.96 is the same distance as someone swimming 47.17 vs Cielo’s 46.91. Enough to get excited, but not really in any imminent danger.

Reply to  John26
1 year ago

Whos Cielo?
I only know ChlorineDaddy

Reply to  Jonathan
1 year ago

It’s ironic at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, Sarah Sjostrom broke the world record in the W 100 FR (Day 1) leading off the W 4 x 100 FR-R yet Simone Manuel won the gold medal in the W 100 FR (Day 6).

Jimmy DeSnuts
1 year ago

It’s all fun and games until KD gets serious and decides she’s had enough of this geezer.

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 year ago

Your username says everything.

Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 year ago

Oh wow….when did KD learn to swim LCM?? This is such a hilarious statement given who you are commenting on. Your KD needs to earn her title shot. Right now all she is, is in the montage scene of people Rocky defeats leading up to fighting the #1 contender.

Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 year ago

well, Kate is coming for blood and there is an age disadvantage for SS. But 23.8 says it all. Kate has been 24.4 which is pretty far from that in a 50

Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 year ago

Kate Douglass needs to qualify for the W 50 FR at the 2023 Phillips 66 National Championships.

Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 year ago

kevin durant with the bucket

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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