2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
- Full aquatics schedule
- SwimSwam Event Previews
- Entry Lists – all events
- Start Lists & Results
After months of “Will she or won’t she?” speculation, Sarah Sjostrom put the question to rest by announcing her participation in the 100 meter butterfly at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She is the reigning Olympic champion and World Record-holder in the 100 fly, but recent injuries have created hurdles for the Swedish star.
During the 2020 ISL season, Sjostrom missed a meet due to a lingering back injury. In February of this year, she broke her elbow slipping on ice. Sjostrom needed surgery to repair her broken elbow and was out of the water for four months. She told Swedish media in mid-May that she had only just begun swimming butterfly again. “I’m not as strong in my right arm, I lost almost four centimeters of muscle mass around my broken arm,” Sjostrom said, in a translation of the original Swedish. “It becomes very fluid and asymmetrical in butterfly swimming.”
Sjostrom is also the World Record-holder in the 50 free and 100 free and it was assumed she would only swim those two races in the Tokyo Olympics. Her agent confirmed that schedule on Monday. However, on Thursday, L’Equipe reported that Sjostrom said she was planning to swim the 100 fly “because I have done it for the last thirteen years of international championships.”
“It will be hard, but I’m curious to see how it will go,” she added. Recovery was “a long process. I would have liked to have had a few more weeks of training but didn’t have them. Now I’m here and my last weeks of preparation have been really good.”
Sjostrom apparently told Swedish media that her goal was to swim a sub-57 this week. She broke both the World Record and the Olympic Record in 2016 with 55.48. She is seeded 5th in Tokyo with 56.22, but that performance dates from World Championship in 2019 when she finished second to Maggie MacNeil (55.83). It will likely take a 55-mid to make the podium in Tokyo.
This will be the fourth consecutive Olympic Games in which Sjostrom will compete in the 100 fly. In 2008 at the age of 14, she placed 27th. In 2012 in London, she finished 4th. And in 2016, she won the event in Rio.