Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom is continuing to progress in her rehab from a broken elbow suffered in February, and confirms that she plans to race at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Participating in a Q&A on Sunday on her Instagram page, Sjostrom says that she has begun swimming a full freestyle stroke, but “not with a very powerful stroke like I used to.”
“More powerful kick and slow frequency with my arms,” she continues on in the post, which accompanies a photo of her using her injured arm to dribble a medicine ball.
Sjostrom says that she hasn’t begun swimming butterfly yet, because the strength imbalance between her arms has made the two-armed motion difficult.
“Butterfly doesn’t work yet because I can’t press the same with both arms under water.”
Sjostrom posted several other answers to questions about her recovery. She posted a pre-injury video of her bench pressing 60 kilograms (132 pounds) for two reps, saying that she’s done as much as 65 kilograms (143 pounds). Right now, though, Sjostrom says she “can’t even bench the bar now.”
A standard bench press bar in Europe ways 20 kilograms, or 44 pounds.
In response to what impact her injury will have on her medal chances, Sjostrom was realistic in her response.
“I know this injury won’t make it easy to get there, it’s not even easy without injuries…but a broken arm won’t stop me from trying my best!”
Other highlights from the Q&A are a picture of Sjostrom’s surgery scar on her elbow, and a favorite set from when she was fully training for the 200 free.
Sjostrom returned to the water in early March, though she has been doing primarily kicking work.
In early February, Sjostrom slipped on ice while visiting a friend, resulting in a broken elbow. A surgery to repair the fracture had her entire arm encased in a temporary cast and sling, with a metal plate and screws inserted into the elbow.
The 27-year old Sjostrom won gold in the 100 fly, silver in the 200 free, and bronze in the 100 free at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. She is also an 11-time World Champion (8 in long course, 3 in short course) and 22-time European Champion.
Sjostrom currently holds 6 World Records in individual events: the most current individual World Records of any swimmer, and the most current World Records of any variety by a woman.
She was also the MVP of the first season of the International Swimming League in 2019. Even before her elbow injury, she was dealing with a back injury during the 2020 season, which kept her out of 1 regular season meet for the runner-up Energy Standard club.