Sjostrom Swims A Surprising Swedish Record In The 400 Freestyle

Swedish swimming star Sarah Sjostrom has been on a roll over the last three days in Amiens at the Golden Lanes Invitational. On the first two she put times in the 50 freestyle as well as the 50 and 100 butterfly that put her on top of the world rankings in each of the events. Today she put up her most surprising result, winning the women’s 400 freestyle in a time of 4:06.04, breaking the Swedish national record and putting herself in the fourth position in the world rankings.

In a race that was swum with incredible precision, negative splitting the race by 58 one-hundredths of a second, Sjostrom destroyed Gabriella Fagundez‘s 2008 record of 4:10.20.

Sjostrom – 28.89/59.99 (31.10)/1:31.69 (31.70)/2:03.31 (31.62)/2:35.19 (31.88)/3:06.64 (31.45)/3:36.26 (29.62)/4:06.04 (29.78)

Her time puts her behind American Katie Ledecky (4:04.46), Australian Jessica Ashwood (4:05.01) and Jazz Carlin (4:05.56) of Great Britain in the world rankings.

Sjostrom lead the at the 200 meter mark turning in a time of 2:03.31, followed closely by Camille Muffat of France who split a 2:03.65 and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu who split a 2:03.70. The other women could not keep pace with the Swede who swam the second half of the race in a 2:02.73.

Hosszu finished second in a time of 4:07.90 followed by Muffat who hit the wall in a time of 4:08.63.

Unlike the other two women who finished on the medal podium Sjostrom has never shown the diversity in program or the desire to swim the 400 at the international level. In fact she only swam the event twice last year, once in the prelims and once in the finals of the Swedish Grand Prix in March. She put up a 4:24.50 in the prelims and posted a lifetime best of 4:12.24 in the finals.

Sjostrom went on to the win the final women’s event of the evening, taking the 100 freestyle in a time of 53.65. Her time puts her second in the world rankings behind Australian Cate Campbell who posted a 53.08 in January. Just like in her 400 win Sjostrom did an impressive job of splitting the race turning at the halfway mark in a time of 26.53 and swimming the final 50 in a time of 27.12.

2013 results:

  • Cate Campbell – 25.46/27.62 – 53.08
  • Sjostrom – 26.53/27.12 – 53.65

Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands finished second in a time of 54.22 which puts her seventh in the world rankings. Sjostrom’s teammate Michelle Coleman also continued to have a strong competition finishing third in a time of 54.73.

Maaike De Waard of the Netherlands won the women’s 50 backstroke in a time of 28.73. She was followed by Hosszu who posted a 28.74 and Heemskerk who recorded a time of 28.86.

Hosszu added to gold to her medal haul later in the evening winning both the 200 butterfly and 200 IM. She took the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:15.06 and the 200 IM in a time of 2:11.46, just off her season’s best of 2:10.97 which she posted in January.

Jeremy Stravius of France took two events on the final evening of competition, winning the 50 backstroke (25.18) with ease and the 200 butterfly, which was a little bit more of a challenge. Stravius end up on the top of a group of four swimmers who finished within 48 one-hundredths of second separating them.

Stravius won the event in a time of 1:58.60 followed by Simon Sjoedin of Sweden who finished second in a time of 1:58.67. Jordan Coelho of France finished third in a time of 1:58.99 followed by David Verraszto who just missed the medals finishing in a time of 1:59.08.

Sjoestrom also took the men’s 200 IM in a time of 2:01.21.

Moniek Nijhuis won the women’s 50 breaststroke in a time of 31.51 while Eddie Momeddere of France took the men’s event in a time of 28.48.

Kyle Stolk of the Netherlands won the men’s 100 freestyle in a time of 51.20.

Full results can be found here

In This Story

Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Looks like Sjostrom is gearing up to become World/Olympic champion in the 200 and challenge the WR eventually.


This 400 free is stunning.

If Sjoestrom breaks 200 free WR (or the textile one), my prediction is it won’t be at world championships or in Olympics. She often swam her year’s fastest outside olympics/worlds. I still feel she should not swim 200 free at the olympics or worlds because I feel it is a distraction and three rounds of high level 200 free can negatively impact her other events. But if she really believes she can go under 1:54 and be in the run for gold, then she should do it.

However, let’s not forget that she normally swims very fast in these little meets with low pressure and no 3 rounds of high level swimming.


No sense in going back years for failures when the swimmer is 20 and has multiple long course gold medals. She struggled with health heading into the big 2011 and 2012 championships and didn’t do herself justice, simple as that. Her best distance, i.e. 100 fly, has her PB and textile PB both set in world champ finals. 100 free PB came in Barcelona semis, and she more or less duplicated that time in the final. She’s never focused whole-heartedly on any other distances, especially not 200 free, so the track record isn’t there or relevant enough to make assumptions. If you’re thinking of Barcelona her 4th place far exceeded anything she did during the season and she didn’t train… Read more »


How long has it been since we’ve seen a swimmer ranked top 5 in the world in the 50/100/200/400 free? I realize it’s early in the season still, but the times people have put up so far are nothing to balk at. She’s gearing up to have a great year.
5th in the world in the 50 free – 24.8
2nd in the world in the 100 free – 53.6
1st in the world in the 200 free – 1:55.5
4th in the world in the 400 free – 4.06.0
Plus 1st in the world in the 50 fly – 25.5 and 100 fly – 56.5

bobo gigi

At her best Camille Muffat was able to swim around 53.50 and 4.01. But she was nowhere as fast as Miss Sjöström in the 50 free. But Sjöström will have choices to do. If you want to win a 100 free, you must train for that event 24/7 all year and be fresh on the race day. Cate Campbell looks already unbeatable on paper but if, moreover, you swim against her with a big fatigue, there’s no chance to win. The women’s 200 free will be one of the toughest events in 2016 with Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt, Federica Pellegrini, Sarah Sjöström, Emma McKeon and Camille Muffat. In the 100 fly, I see only Dana Vollmer and Sarah Sjöström for… Read more »


Franziska Van Almsick won golds in 50, 100, 200, 400 free at european championships (although not in a single championships). Dawn Fraser held WRs in 100 m/y, 200 m/220 y, and 400 m/440 y, and judging by her sprinting prowess (the only female swimmer ever to win 100 free olympics gold more than once), she would have broken 50 free WR too had it existed. Shane Gould held 100/200/400/800/1500 WRs at the same time, and very likely be in the top three in 50 m had it existed. Until Sjoetrom can swim 1:55 or under when it matters (olympics or worlds with its three rounds of high intensity swimming), I still don’t think it’s a good idea for her to… Read more »

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!