Sarah Sjostrom & Therese Alshammar Will Make Race Returns This Week in Canet

Mare Nostrum Series – Canet

  • June 1-2, 2021
  • Centre de Natation Arlette Franco, Canet-en-Roussillon, France
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Psych Sheets

Beginning on Tuesday, in Canet, France, the seconds stop of the Mare Nostrum Series will kick off in Canet, France.

The meet will serve as a comeback event for two major Swedish stars. One is Sarah Sjostrom, who hasn’t raced since breaking her elbow in early February, which required surgery and months of rehab.

The other is 43-year old Swedish swimming legend Therese Alshammar, who is entered in the 50 free with a seed time of 25.80, which makes her the 16th seed (behind the top-seeded Sjostrom, who is also the World Record holder in the event).

If she races, this will be her first official competition swim since November of 2016, where she raced at the Swedish National Championships a week after announcing that the meet would be her last. She finished 2nd at that meet in a short course 25.13.

Before the rise of Sjostrom, Alshammar was the biggest star of swimming in Sweden. She won 3 medals at the 2000 Olympic Games, including silvers individually in the 50 free and 100 free and bronze as part of the country’s 400 free relay.

That was the second of 6 Olympic Games for her, making her the first (and still only) female swimmer to participate in 6 Olympic Games. At her last Olympics, in 2016, she raced the 50 free and finished 15th. She was also the flag bearer for Sweden at the opening ceremonies that year.

Alshammar won her first national short course title in 1991, the 50 backstroke, and would go on to compete at the international level for 25 years.

She took a break from her racing career in 2013 to give birth to her son Fred before returning to the sport to train toward Tokyo.

Since retirement, Alshammar has appeared on television several times, including in the celebrity dance competition show Let’s Dance.

Sjostrom, the current queen of Swedish swimming, reacted to the news of Alshammar’s return on social media, captioning the post with “Goals”. Sjostrom, who won her first World Championship gold medal in 2009 at age 14, is currently 27 years old.

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1 year ago

According to Swedish media (google translate), Alshammar has trained four (4!) sessions per week. If that translation is correct, 25.83 is sensational.

Last edited 1 year ago by SwimReason
1 year ago

24:68 for Sarah
25:83 for Therese

Reply to  ooo
1 year ago

I don’t think it is something that Therese had in mind but her prelim swim was 0.61 seconds under the Masters’ World Record listed on the FINA website.

Although as I look at the list I see a lot of events and age groups where there have been faster times.

Reply to  ooo
1 year ago

25.52 for Alshammar in the final.

1 year ago

Two comebacks in one meet. Awesome! It was always a joy to watch Therese’s beautiful stroke. Like watching Popov. A study in grace and efficiency and just sooooo beautiful!

1 year ago

Therese is tough as nails, and her technique is the stuff dreams are made of. If there is anyone that can pop an A time at 43, it’s her.

Guimaraes Cayley
1 year ago

Alshammar has the best freestyle stroke technique! WooHoo.

Human Ambition
Reply to  Guimaraes Cayley
1 year ago

She has looked good in the workouts. Still a great student of the sport.

1 year ago

So exciting seeing more swimmers 35+ coming out of retirement and/or ripping great times. 30 isn’t really all that old in swimming anymore…maybe for distance it is, but 50 and 100 swimmers seem to have a great deal of longevity if they are prepared to keep putting in the work and maybe change up training intensities/frequencies a little bit.

Reply to  MTK
1 year ago

Alshamnar isn’t 35+ she is 43+. Quite a difference. I think she came with Sarah to this meet to help/support her.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

I’m aware she’s 43. Just expressing my admiration for athletes still being great when they’re theoretically past their prime.

Why would she come to race at a swim meet to support Sara? I’m sure she could be doing an endless number of things with her time. It sounds like she’s training because she still has a desire to perform at a high level.

Joris Bohnson
1 year ago


Hans Witolla
1 year ago

Wow, I thought that was a typo or an archived article. Good for her.

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