Sjostrom Misses WR By 0.02, Goes 3rd Fastest 100 Free Of All-Time


Swedish superstar Sarah Sjostrom has been on an absolute tear at the Mare Nostrum tour the last number of days. Winning the 50 & 100 free and fly at every stop, she closed the circuit out today with her best swim of the tour in Canet-en-Roussillon.

After already claiming gold in the 50 fly earlier in the session, Sjostrom threw down a 52.08 100 free, the third fastest swim in history. She narrowly misses the world record, which stands at 52.06 set by Australian Cate Campbell set last July.

Britta Steffen‘s 2009 mark of 52.07 still sits ahead of Sjostrom as well, but that swim was aided with the super-suits that are now banned.

Sjostrom improves on her world best 52.28 done at the last stop in Barcelona, and now has been an incredible 0.62 faster in-season than it took to win Olympic gold last summer. After the three stops of this circuit, Sjostrom is the undeniable favorite in the women’s 50 & 100 free and fly at the upcoming World Championships in Budapest.

Here’s a look at the five fastest swims in history, with Sjostrom’s two most recent showings making the list.

  1. Cate Campbell, 52.06, 2016
  2. Britta Steffen, 52.07, 2009
  3. Sarah Sjostrom, 52.08, 2017
  4. Britta Steffen, 52.22, 2009
  5. Sarah Sjostrom, 52.28, 2017

It goes without saying that Sjostrom also lowers her own Swedish Record, which was the 52.28 done in Barcelona.

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3 years ago


3 years ago

I wonder if Mel still thinks that Simone Manuel will win 50/100 free come Worlds….

dude 2.0
Reply to  Swimmerfromoverseas
3 years ago

who thought Simone was going to win the olympics last summer? I sure didn’t. And it didn’t seem to matter, because Simone still won.

Reply to  dude 2.0
3 years ago

To be fair, it took another athlete to choke – Not to play down what an incredible achievement it was for Simone, but she isn’t up against an athlete with questionable nerve this time. I think Sjostrom is a superior swimmer, if she turns up and delivers as usual, she’ll handle them all (with no peak condition Cate at Worlds) quite comfortably. Kromowidjojo is my pick of the rest, she’s swimming as well as she has consistently since 2012. I’m expecting another trip under 53s.

Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

I agree. Simone is a question mark. I just don’t see her beating Sjostrom at this point. Next week at Nationals will give a better view of where she is. With that said after the 100/50 in Rio, I put nothing past her to accomplish. Sjostrom seem to be at her peak performance time. So it would be shocking for her not to sweep the sprints.

Reply to  Swim-Fan
3 years ago

Simone might surprise with a solid time comes Trials ( 52.9-53.2 comes to mind ) – and than she will do her best in Budapest . What else can she do against a 52.08 ?!!

Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

Tend to concur. SS is not C1, she is currently in career best form, this is NOT the Olympics and she’s not carrying the added stress of being part of a chronically misfiring team NOR the moronic AUS media on her back. The simplification of SS’s race schedule (and thus training) is clearly showing benefits.

Barring illness to SS, everyone else is playing for minor coin in both 50/100free. Unless someone is swimming well under 53 or around 24flat/24.15 at US Nats, they’re probably just going to be part of the ruck scrapping for the minor coin here …. maybe they will come away with something.

At this point, Blume has been next best at 50, seemingly confounding those… Read more »

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

I tend to think you may be right about Ranomi, but what I I like about her is that you know her fastest swim of the year will be in the World/Olympic Final. She is the absolute professional. In a scrap for second, with the pack off Sjostrom’s hip (if they’re lucky ha), I would be most sure of her being the one not to tighten up.

IMs for days
3 years ago

Ugh, it must suck to get that close. Still an incredible swim. I hope she doesn’t peak to soon, but its looking like she can be at 90 percent and still win.

Reply to  IMs for days
3 years ago

90% would be a 57 in a 1 free I don’t think she can win at 90%

Reply to  Beau
3 years ago

I think you’re confusing 90% health and actually being 10% off her best time – Athletes are often at 90% outside their taper meet, but that very rarely results in being 10% off their best time in a sprint.

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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