Sjostrom Still Looking for a World Title in the Women’s 100 FR (Day 6 Euro Recap)


Sarah Sjostrom is a generational sprinting talent. She’s a 4x Olympic medalist and the current world record holder in four events: the 50 and 100 free, and the 50 and 100 fly.

With her silver medal from the 2022 World Championships, she collected her 17th individual Worlds medal. That makes her the woman with the most individual Worlds medals. Only Michael Phelps has more, with 20.

However, there’s still one thing missing from her long list of swimming accolades and accomplishments: a world title in the 100 free.

She’s been on the podium five consecutive times, but has never claimed the top spot. At 2019 Worlds, she earned bronze behind Simone Manuel and Cate Campbell. She’s won silver four times: in 2013, 2015, 2017, and now in 2022. She swam her world record of 51.71 at 2017 Worlds in this same arena, but she did it leading off Sweden’s 4×100 free relay.

Comparison of the last five podium finishes in the women’s 100 free

2022 Worlds 2019 Worlds 2017 Worlds 2015 Worlds 2013 Worlds
Gold Mollie O’Callaghan, 52.67 Simone Manuel, 52.04 Simone Manuel, 52.27 Bronte Campbell, 52.52 Cate Campbell, 52.34
Silver Sarah Sjostrom, 52.80 Cate Campbell, 52.43 Sarah Sjostrom, 52.31 Sarah Sjostrom, 52.70 Sarah Sjostrom, 52.89
Bronze Torri Huske, 52.92 Sarah Sjostrom, 52.46 Pernille Blume, 52.69 Cate Campbell, 52.82 Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 53.42

While she hasn’t yet claimed the gold medal, being on the podium five consecutive times underlines Sjostrom’s consistency in this event. Each of her medal-winning swims are sub-53. She’s proven time and time again that she’s more than capable of competing with any other elite sprinters in the race.

This year, the 100 free was one of the women’s events most decimated by absences. None of the medalists from the previous four Worlds returned except Sjostrom. Olympic gold medalist Emma McKeon is not in Budapest either. Siobhan Haughey and Shayna Jack both withdrew from the meet due to injury. The comparison of the medalists reflects this, as this was the slowest winning time over Sjostrom’s consecutive podium appearances.

Heading into the final, many might have favored the veteran Sjostrom over the rest of the field, but it was teen phenom Mollie O’Callaghan who ended up getting her hand on the wall first. However, Sjostrom’s swim is still impressive and shows that she’s returned to form following last year’s elbow injury. In fact, this isn’t even Sjostrom’s slowest medal performance.

On Day 7, Sjostrom has the finals of the 50 fly, where she’s looking for her fourth consecutive world championship title. She’ll also race in the women’s 50 free at this meet, which means it’s possible that she could end the meet within one medal of Phelps’ individual medals record. With another Worlds on the books for next year and Sjostrom showing no signs of slowing down, the record could well be hers next year.

Quick Hits

  • Luke Greenbank was nowhere near the top of the men’s 200 back world rankings coming into this meet, but he got it done in the final, charging home and posting 1:55.16 to earn silver.
  • Ben Proud and Lewis Burras both qualified for the men’s 50 free final as the first and fourth seeds, respectively. This is the first time in at least 20 years that the Brits have had two men in this final.
  • Sweden’s Erik Persson tied for second in the men’s 200 breast final in 2:08.38. This is the 2x Olympian’s first senior international medal. He’s also the first Swedish man to win a medal at Worlds since 2007.

National Records on Day 6

  • The squad of Richard Marton, Nandor Nemeth, Balazs Hollo, and Kristof Milak broke the Hungarian record in the men’s 4×200 free twice today. In prelims, they clipped the old record of 7:07.67, posting 7:07.46. Then in finals, they blew by that with a 7:06.27, anchored by Milak’s 1:44.68 split.
  • Simon Bucher cut time off his own Austrian record in the 100 fly, getting under his 51.80 from 2020 Euros in 51.18.
  • Aviv Barzelay broke her own Israeli record in the 200 back, lowering the mark from 2:10.76 to 2:10.42.
  • Israel’s Gal Cohen Groumi set another national record, this time in the men’s 100 fly semifinal. He reset Tomer Frankel‘s old record by .02, swimming 51.79.
  • Nikolas Antoniou reset his own Cypriot record in the 50 free, clocking 22.77 to better the old record of 22.81.

European Medal Table Through Day 6

Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total Medals
Italy 3 1 1 5
France 2 3 1 6
Romania 2 0 0 2
Hungary 1 0 0 1
Great Britain 0 1 2 3
Lithuania 0 0 1 1
Netherlands 0 1 1 2
Ukraine 0 0 1 1
Sweden 0 2 0 2

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There's no doubt that he's tightening up
5 months ago

At age 17, Popovici has more 100 free World Championship titles than Sjostrom and PVDH combined.

Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

I was rooting for her but it seemed obvious she didn’t have enough cushion at the turn. She would have won with relay intensity but that could be said of plenty of losing individual swims.

5 months ago

where is Germany from the list?

5 months ago

The Mount Rushmore of female swimmers in the 21st century:

Hosszu, Ledecky, Sjostrom

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

I can already see McIntosh carving her name up there in the next 5-10 years.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

Emma McKeon has also won 17 WC medals to go with her 11 olympic medals

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  SBOmega
5 months ago

If you’re gonna add McKeon then you’ve got to add Coughlin’s 20 WC medals and 12 Olympic medals, with greater medal success in individual events, plus individual WRs.

Reply to  SBOmega
5 months ago

Emma McKeon does not even register amongst the leaders in individual events.

Reply to  SBOmega
5 months ago

McKeon is great but I personally don’t think that 4 individual Olympic medals and 3 WC medals compared to Hosszu’s 4/17, Sjostrom’s 4/17, and Ledecky’s 7/14, especially when considering that all 3 of these swimmers hold 2+ world records each

Reply to  jeff
5 months ago

Sarah is still looking for an Olympic sprint gold medal in the 50m and 100m free as well, Her lone gold was in the 100 fly in Rio.

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

Totally agree. These three women have been absolute titans of the last 10 years. The sport owes them a debt of gratitude.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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