Sjostrom Breaks 100 Back National Record, Heemskerk Climbs All-Time 100 Free Rankings

After Friday and Saturday at the 2015 Eindhoven Swim Cup belonged to the home team and veteran Femke Heemskerk (here and here), she shared the spotlight with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom on Sunday in the Netherlands.

Sjostrom started the evening session with a 24.69 in the women’s 50 fly, which ranks as the second-fastest performance in history and the fastest time ever indoors (read more and watch race video here).

She would finish that event with a title later in the session, and though her time slid to just a 25.5 in the final round, she had good reason: the swim was just a few minutes after she swam and broke the Swedish National Record in the 100 backstroke.

In that event, Sjostrom’s 59.98 made her the first swimmer in her country’s history to ever go better than a minute in that event. The old record was a 1:00.58 done last year by Michelle Coleman in France. Despite Sjostrom’s swim here, she still probably makes the most sense as a butterflier on a medal-potential Swedish medley relay, but she continues to improve her versatility as she ages from a one-trick 100 fly pony in 2009 at 14-years old to one of the world’s best all-around swimmers in 2015.

100 back race video:

Meanwhile, Heemskerk capped off her meet with another lifetime best and a new Dutch Record in the women’s 100 free. She swam a 52.69 to improve her semi-final swim by a tenth of a second. That moves her up into 5th-place on the all-time rankings and surpasses her younger countrymate Ranomi Kromowidjojo as the fastest Dutch swimmer in history.


  1. Britta Steffen, Germany, 52.07
  2. Cate Campbell, Australia, 52.33
  3. Libby Trickett, Australia, 52.62
  4. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 52.67
  5. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands, 52.69
  6. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands, 52.75
  7. Bronte Campbell, Australia, 52.86
  8. Fran Halsall, Great Britain, 52.87
  9. Amanda Weir, USA, 53.02
  10. Jiaying Pang, China, 53.13

Kromowidjojo took 2nd in the race in 53.88, and Maud van der Meer was 3rd in 54.85. All three swimmers train at the Dutch National Training Center – PSV.

Hungarian Peter Bernek continued his run of success with another Meet Record, this time in the men’s 400 free. He swam a 3:47.31, holding off the defending European Champion Velimir Stjepanovic (3:48.85) for the win.

At the other end of the men’s freestyle spectrum, Hungarian sprinter Krisztian Takacs swam 22.19 in the semis and 22.22 in the finals to win the men’s 50 free ahead of Christoffer Carlsen (22.80).

Hungary’s third win of the day came in the men’s 100 back where Gabor Balog swam 54.78 to win.

In the women’s 200 breaststroke, back to the home-team success, Moniek Nijhuis swam a 2:29.61 to win ahead of Michelle Lambert (2:30.07). That’s Nijhuis’ first time under 2:30 in this event, and as her country’s primary sprint breaststroker that’s a bit of icing-on-the-cake.

Finally, another Swede, Erik Persson, won the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:11.98, which is half-a-second short of his personal best. He was able to hold off 100 breaststroke World Record holder Cameron van Der Burgh, who took 2nd in 2:12.23.

Full meet results available here.
Watch race videos from the whole session here.


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6 years ago

You gotta be kidding me. I just wrote under the post on Sjostrom’s 50 fly win that in Eindhoven they were having plenty of good swimming, and now this? Sjostrom turning in a Coughlin-like monster, and Heemskerk bettering Ranomi (sorry, I can’t type more than two difficult surnames at the time) in the 100 free?

I want to know what they put in the water!!!

And about Heemskerk … yes, you can teach a (relatively) old dog new tricks!

6 years ago

Ok what about the next gen? Marrit Steenbergen (also from Holland) swam a 54.84 as a 15 year old. We’ll see her in Rio in the Dutch relay together with Heemskerk and Kromowidjojo. I think you need a worldrecord for the gold!

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Too bad Sjöström can’t swim good breaststroke. 🙂
Because if she could, her 200 IM would be scary.
We never know. Perhaps that’s in her mind. 🙂
I’ve found an old 100 breast PB of 1.23.70 in long course from 2007 but also a much more recent and interesting PB in short course in 1.11.38 from 2013.
100 back PB: 59.98
100 fly PB: 56.06
100 free PB: 52.67
And we know she has a big endurance with a 200 free PB of 1.55.04 and a 400 free PB of 4.06.04.
With much work….

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I definitely think she could do a very mean 200 IM.
Two other swimmers came up to my mind that support this hypothesis : Coughlin and Seebohm
Coughlin won Beijing bronze and Seebohm was the first to go under 2:10 in textile (sorry, I disregard Lin Li’s WR).

Sjostrom, Coughlin and Seebohm are similar swimmers, with Sjostrom greatest strength on fly while Coughlin and Seebohm on back. But sjostrom is much faster in free.

6 years ago

Quite frankly, it is scary that she can be at the top in 3 distances (at least in freestyle), let alone 3 strokes. PVDH was strong in the 50, 100 and 200. Matt Biondi too. But those were other times. Today swimming is super-specialized and many 50-100 freestylers are not that good in the 200 (some are not even that good in the 50, take Magnussen for example).

Lane Four
6 years ago

I agree with BoBo regarding Sarah’s potential for the 200 I.M. Ok, I realize that this is a stretch (especially with the doping history), but let’s not forget that Kristin Otto, even with her talent for back, fly and free was a world champion in the 200 I.M., and that was with a HORRIBLE breastroke. It would not surprise me in the least if Sarah could win the Olympic Gold medal in Rio for the I.M. if she put some time into her breaststroke. She has the talent, strength, speed and endurance to make some very serious noise in that event.

6 years ago

Sjostrom is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. 24.69. Wow.

I’d love to see what she could go for a 200 IM. Her coach is known to put her in off-events (like the 100 back and 400 free) sometimes at these invitationals to take the pressure off her primary events, so maybe we’ll get to see this happen.

6 years ago

In the Arena interview posted on this site, she says that she doesn’t train backstroke and only swims it in practice for recovery. Can you imagine what she could go if her coaches threw some backstroke speed sets into her repertoire? Scary.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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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