In three days so far at the 2011 Short Course National Championships, 18-year old Swede Sarah Sjostrom has not failed to set a record. On this occasion, it was the 100 free that she dominated to the tune of a 52.18, which is the 3rd-best mark in the world this year and a new Swedish Junior Record. That swim just missed Therese Alshammar’s old National Record by .01 seconds, which means that the standard will surely go down in the not-too-distant future.
This shows how far Sjostrom has come in a short time since she broke a World Record at 15. She is still a very young swimmer, but she is already breaking decade-old records held by one of the strongest short course sprinters the world has ever seen in Alshammar. Every time she swims, she becomes even stronger – also on this day 3, she swam the backstroke leg of her Sodertorn Swim Club’s 200 medley relay in 27.50, which moves into the top 20 in the world. Michelle Coleman, who won the 100 earlier in the meet, was the best in 27.32 (she is also only 18 years old).
The runner-up in the 100 free was Nathalie Lindborg in 54.12, which is easily the fastest that she’s been in textile. Lindborg spent one season at Cal, and was expected to be a future leader in their distance group, but returned home to Sweden over the summer. Her training back home seems to have gone successfully, as this mark is easily her best in textile. She might be in consideration, now, for multiple relay spots at the London Olympics next summer.
In the women’s 100 breaststroke, which is always a highlight at any national-level meet, Jennie Johansson doubled her win in the 50 one day prior with a victory here in 1:05.97. She has been much better this year, but appears to be clearly building towards the European Championship. Arizona State collegian Rebecca Ejdervik took advantage of the American Thanksgiving holiday to fly back to Sweden to participate in this 100, where she touched 2nd in 1:06.16. That’s two seconds better than she’s been this year. That’s a great time, after she was strong but seemed unrested at the Arena Invitational last week, and her presence lends credence to the speculation that her summer rest meet will be saved for the European Championships.
In the women’s 400 IM, Sara Thyden won in 4:34.30, which puts her 11th in this year’s World Rankings. That’s a big two-second season-best for her, thanks to strong underwaters, though she still has some work to do in her long course performances to match.
In the men’s 50 backstroke, Sebastian Holmberg swam a 24.43 to move to 3rd on the All-Time Swedish list. He just out-touched Niklas Borin, who was 2nd in 24.50. In the 50 breaststroke, Jakob Dorch won in 27.15 to match his own victory in the 100 from the day previous. That’s a top-20 time in the world. Also on the men’s side, Peter Stymne won the 100 free in 48.41 in the peculiar absence of 50-meter champion Stefan Nystrand.