Sarah Sjostrom Smashes 100 FR World Record In 51.71 On Relay Lead-Off

2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom has had an unbelievable year in the sprint free events, coming incredibly close to the world record in both the 50 and 100 freestyles.

In the 100 she came within 0.02, going 52.08 back on the Mare Nostrum tour, and on day 1 in Budapest she became the first woman ever under 52 seconds.

After splitting 52.19 in the prelims of the 400 free relay with a takeover, Sjostrom led off the finals relay in 51.71, smashing Cate Campbell‘s 2016 record of 52.06. That swim makes her nearly a full second faster than the time required to win Olympic gold last summer (52.70), where she won bronze.

Prior to Campbell, the world record stood at 52.07 for seven years, set by Germany’s Britta Steffen at the 2009 World Championships during the super-suit era.

Sjostrom leapfrogs the two of them as the fastest of all-time, and now owns three swims inside the top-10 in history.

After Sjostrom got Sweden out to a massive lead, Michelle Coleman extended it over the Americans with a quick 52.68 split. Weaker on the back half, the Swedes fell to 5th, as the U.S. won gold in a new American Record time of 3:31.72.

Sjostrom is already four swims deep in Budapest, and has been exceptional in each and every one. She’s now the undeniable favorite for gold in the 100 free, not to mention the 100 fly tomorrow night after qualifying 1st tonight in the semi-finals. She’s also a lock for gold in the 50 fly and a big favorite in the 50 free.

10 Fastest Performances of All-Time – Women’s 100 Freestyle

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 51.71, 2017
  2. Cate Campbell (AUS), 52.06, 2016
  3. Britta Steffen (GER), 52.07, 2009
  4. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 52.08, 2017
  5. Britta Steffen (GER), 52.22, 2009
  6. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 52.28, 2017
  7. Cate Campbell (AUS), 52.33, 2013
  8. Cate Campbell (AUS), 52.34, 2013
  9. Cate Campbell (AUS), 52.38, 2016
  10. Cate Campbell (AUS), 52.38, 2016

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MrBriefStroke
5 years ago

To me with that performance she is the best female swimmer of all time!

Swimmer?
Reply to  MrBriefStroke
5 years ago

Cough cough Katie COUGH Ledecky cough cough

Carlo
Reply to  Swimmer?
5 years ago

Stop coughing

Prickle
Reply to  MrBriefStroke
5 years ago

I would say that indeed the record at 100 is one among most prestigious. That makes her the greatest sprinter. Because she is a record holder and nobody ever had swum greater. But I would call Sarah the greatest swimmer should she hold records from 50 through 200 or at least to be the Olympic champion at these disciplines. I think that such range of superiority is rarer than one from 200 through 1500. But it is happen to be too much for Sarah. So let’s stay with the greatest Sprinter title that is also very impressive.
And of course this endless dispute about greatness is all about personal preferences and tastes. You want to call her the Greatest… Read more »

xenon
5 years ago

Sjostrom didn’t take her first breath until around 26 meters and only breathed 6 times the first 50.

swimmer!
5 years ago

I think it’s funny that if she were Chinese or Russian, the comments section would be a lot different.

IMs for days
Reply to  swimmer!
5 years ago

We had 2012 and 2016 to complaim about this.

Swimmm
Reply to  swimmer!
5 years ago

Why is that funny? Russia and china put themselves up to having their athletes being questioned after all the doping scandals. Sarah just shows how hard work (and an undeniable talent) can get you further than doping.

swimmer!
Reply to  Swimmm
5 years ago

SWIMMM: That is just not true at all. Doping, hard work, and talent get you the farthest. Just look at Flo Jo, Lance, Barry Bonds, Cielo, Yang, ben Johnson, (very very likely Mo Farrah), and many many other top athletes.

Swimmm
Reply to  swimmer!
5 years ago

The fact that you even commented that like it’s nothing wrong with that statement is pretty sad. And, it’s also completely false. Look at Sjostrom, Ledecky, Peaty, Hosszu- all examples of extraordinary, clean athletes that put in hard work and have a drive that puts them ahead of every awful drug cheat.

swimmer!
Reply to  Swimmm
5 years ago

That’s not my point and I never said there is nothing wrong with doping. Assuming all of those athletes are totally clean, their performance no doubt would be enhanced with PEDs (hence the name). You are assuming that athletes taking PEDs are not working hard, but that just is not true.

Swimmm
Reply to  swimmer!
5 years ago

Well for respectable athletes, doping as a means of getting further is not something they would ever even consider. And while they might have enhanced results if they were to use it my point was that they are clean athletes ahead of everyone else in their events- people that might be using drugs- showing that talent and hard work maaany times beat drug cheats. The original point I was making though was that it’s harder for people to trust a Chinese or Russian swimmer to be clean when both nations have a recent history of cheating, than it is to trust swimmers from nations that have no, or a bare minimum, of doping cases.

samuel huntington
Reply to  swimmer!
5 years ago

Sjostrom has been a huge talent her whole life, I think she won a world championship at age 15

FinnishSwimFan
Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Samuel Huntington…She did indeed, with a WR. Also a Euro champ at 14.

Robbos
Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Yes in WR time too, what a swimmer, that is fast very fast. Well done Sarah, 2 huge superstars in women’s swimming at present Sarah & Katie.

BaldingEagle
Reply to  Robbos
5 years ago

…and Katinka and King

Dylab
Reply to  Robbos
5 years ago

3 superstars Sjostrom Ledecky and Hosszu

john26
5 years ago

To think that she has dropped nearly a full second in the 100free in the last year.. from being the 3rd fastest ever in textile

Rafael
5 years ago

Ledecky will have it tough to win best swimmer with sjostrom there.

Prickle
Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Ledecky won’t be the best swimmer of this WC . Only individual medals are counted and world records. That is how Katie won this award over six gold medals of Missy Franklin in Barcelona in 2013. After today performance of Katie Ledecky the only world record of her that i can think about is in 1500 event tomorrow in prelim. It is very likely that Sarah leaves this championships with three world records under her belt.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Phenomenal performance!

Congratulations Sarah!

Joe
5 years ago

She said to Swedish TV she really wanted to go all-in and did. Said you might not be able to do take out the individual race quite that fast, individual race is more about the color of the medal.

Prickle
Reply to  Joe
5 years ago

Joe, i congratulate you with Sjostrom incredible performance. But couple days ago you tried to convince us that Sarah’s relay duty is kind of different of what she did today. I’m glad that she combined successfully her personal interests with team’s ones. Despite world record was expected after her 52.08 month ago one never knows if this actually happens. If she is able to crash high-tech suits record that was unthinkable just one year ago then let her do it as soon as possible. Don’t sleep on it.

Joe
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

Sweden changed plans somewhere along the way, there has not been any talk of her ever doing the leadoff before. Probably got it because Coleman already PB’d this morning and it was clear that the fourth girl just wasn’t gonna cut it for the medals so just go for broke and see what happens. Make it a WR opportunity. And boy, did she ever take it.

SwimJon
Reply to  Joe
5 years ago

They decided on this plan a week ago the team said

Pvdh
5 years ago

Sjostrom is op pls nerf

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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