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

2017 MARE NOSTRUM TOUR – CANET

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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korn
5 years ago

Why did Kromo scratch the 100 free in Canet? she qualified 8th in prelims and then didn’t swim finals.

Prickle
Reply to  korn
5 years ago

Maybe because swimming in the same race with Sarah even 53 mid doesn’t look respectful anymore. And 54 is an embarrassment for the former Olympic champ. Or it could be simply temporary health issues.

G.I.N.A
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

54 is not an embarassment for a 5 year removed Oly champ . I like it that she quietly continues with rarer but still nice times . Sarah is on an Inge – roll but that doesn’t mean anyone else is diminished

Prickle
Reply to  G.I.N.A
5 years ago

You are right about Ranomi. She isn’t on the top for a long while already. It doesn’t matter to her if it is Cate Campbell or Sarah Sjostrom are making waves ahead of her. But what bothers me about this sudden rise of Sjostrom is that should she swim one more under 52.2 race and stay at this level next season that may push Cate Campbell to retire after CWG next year. If she bounces back to 52.3 area there would be no motivation for her to continue at her 26. I can’t imagine her to be another “junk yard lady” competing at junk meets for money and being second at best at major meets.

luigi
5 years ago

One must really wonder “what if” she didn’t insist on swimming the 200 free the past Olympic cycle? It is apparent now that her excellence in the 200 free was a by-product of her otherwordliness in the shorter races.

Prickle
Reply to  luigi
5 years ago

It isn’t that much apparent to me, LUIGI. In 2016 she was with different coach that she was for so long time with that by her words she has stopped listening to him. It wasn’t said publicly yet of how much credit of her current explosive improvement has to be attributed to her new coach. But it looks like he had something to do with that. Also in 2016 her main focus was Olympic gold medal that could come most likely from butterfly. It maybe not what is happening to her but when checking her history it looks apparent that she doesn’t progress simultaneously in fly and freestyle. Either one or another. Her previous coach was always talking of her… Read more »

luigi
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

True I should refrain from making assumptions. Still, the fact that 200 free is not in her program anymore is not an assumption, is a fact. I concur with you that her new coach has something to do with it. couldn’t that “something” be, among other things, a focus in training and competition on the 50s and 100s of stroke?

Prickle
Reply to  luigi
5 years ago

Sure, but should I be Katie Ledecky I wouldn’t relax until I don’t see Sarah on the blocks at 200 free event.
200 free doesn’t interfere with Sjostrom’s major schedule. If showing super records isn’t a goal in oncoming WC then with that dominance in fly and free that she’s shown last week she can easily accommodate two days of 200 races. Even simply swimming for a silver medal will be very respectful because it is done in competition with Katie Ledecky. But after those shocking results at Mare Nostrum I don’t know what she can possibly do at 200 not even being specifically trained for it this year. Unless Ledecky targets the textile world record at 200 (that… Read more »

ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

C1 Must be shaking ………….slowly but surely .

I Flew A Beoing 727 Yesterday
5 years ago

I think that Bronte will win because Cate and Sarah will choke really bad and Britta Steffen will stop them from touching the pad before they can go a 51 bc she doesn’t want them cheating

Riez
5 years ago

What a consistency! If she grabs four individual golds and breaks two WRs in Budapest, then carries on like this over the FINA SC meets, there is no need to argue who is the best female swimmer of the world this year.

Swimmer?
Reply to  Riez
5 years ago

Unless Katie breaks 15:30 in the 1500 free, 8:04 in the 800, and 3:56 in the 400, possibly a 1:52 in the 200 free.

Riez
Reply to  Swimmer?
5 years ago

Her schedule is less favourable than Sarah’s, with 1500 final right after 200 semis in the first place (SS has an hour at least to rest for the 50fly after the 50free semis) + FINA considers the world cup and the Euros as a world event.

Prickle
Reply to  Riez
5 years ago

Is the schedule of events in Budapest is deferment from the one in Kazan? There 1500 final was indeed in the same session with 200 semi but it was before 200, not after.

Riez
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

200 semi comes first, at least according to their website.
https://www.fina-budapest2017.com/en/events/list?sports=swimming&page=2

Prickle
Reply to  Swimmer?
5 years ago

You probably ment 15:20. The current record is 15:25.
I think that if Katie breaks 2009 record at 200 it will be a historical event greater than just another world record. From 200 up to 1500 it is really something. Unfortunately in contrast with Sarah Sjostrom she hasn’t given any signs yet that it may happen in a month.

Prickle
Reply to  Riez
5 years ago

I can believe my eyes. Hungarian gives up on Hosszu. 🙂

Riez
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

That’s an incorrect interpretation 🙂
Actually, it has never made sense for me to compare KH to KL, it’s just the usual forum flaming.
But this point is real. If Sarah goes like this, she is arguably this year’s best.

Prickle
Reply to  Riez
5 years ago

Thank you for not getting offended by my joke. If everything goes as it looks today then Sarah most likely will be chosen the swimmer of WC because of more world records if she and KL have same number of individual gold medal. Will she go for the FINA’s best swimmer of the year? I’m not sure. It will depend if new format of World Cup feats her plans. She will have plenty of other recognitions even more respectable than FINA’s one. But what I think she won’t miss is the opportunity to set short course would records in freestyle. She already holds one at 200 and would be nice to have the full extremely rare set from 50 through… Read more »

northernsue
5 years ago

Wow. I was a bit sad that she was no longer swimming the 200, but now I see why she made that decision. Hopefully she can get the WR at Worlds.

Lane Four
5 years ago

Wow. 51.9 at worlds?

ellie
5 years ago

She’s able to go a second faster than everyone else in 100 fly. So why can’t she do the same in free if she focuses on it? 52.08 is not the end. I believe she hasn’t realized her full potential in this series, according to her time in the fly events.

SchoolingFTW
Reply to  ellie
5 years ago

Why can’t she go a full second faster in 100 free than anyone else?

Ummmm… Because the talents in 100 free are not the same than in 100 fly?

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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