Sjostrom’s 53.12 Lead Off & Steenbergen’s 53.02 Highlight W. 4×100 Free Relay



  • World Record: 3:29.69, Australia – 2021 Olympic Games
  • European Record: 3:31.72, Netherlands – 2009 World Championships
  • European Championship Record: 3:33.62, Netherlands – 2008
  • 2020 European Champion: Great Britain, 3:34.17


  1. Great Britain – 3:36.47
  2. Sweden – 3:37.29
  3. Netherlands – 3:37.59
  4. Italy – 3:38.01
  5. Hungary – 3:39.42
  6. France – 3:39.61
  7. Spain – 3:41.01
  8. Germany – 3:43.92

The British women repeated as the 4×100 freestyle relay European champions on Day 3 of Euros in Rome. Sweden had a held the lead through the first 200 meters, but Great Britain continued to close the gap on the third leg, then after diving in less than a half-second behind, Freya Anderson brought them home in 53.54 for gold, the third-fastest split in the field.


Sarah Sjostrom got Sweden off to a tremendous start, clocking 53.12, the fastest lead-off in the field by 1.69 seconds. Sjostrom won silver at Worlds in 52.80, and though this swim was over three-tenths slower and well off her world record, it still would have won her gold in the individual 100 free here in Rome. Sjostrom opted to skip both the 100 free and 100 fly at these championships, focusing instead on the 50 free and 50 fly. Earlier in the session, Sjostrom won her fifth European championship in the 50 fly.

Hungary’s Nikoletta Padar scratched the individual 100 free semifinal to focus on the 4×200 free relay. Here, she led off the relay and posted 55.19, much faster than the 55.66 she posted in prelims.

Interestingly, France opted not to use Charlotte Bonnet, who won silver in this event on Day 2, on their relay. Bonnet showed herself to be on good form in the 100 free; in the semis, she posted 53.56 for her fastest time in three years. Mary-Ambre Moluh led the French off, posting 55.55 after qualifying for the women’s 50 back final in 27.86.

Country Swimmer Time
Sweden Sarah Sjostrom 53.12
Italy Chiara Tarantino 54.81
Great Britain Lucy Hope 54.88
Hungary Nikoletta Padar 55.19
Netherlands Kim Busch 55.21
Spain Carmen Weller Sastre 55.49
Germany Nele Schulze 55.49
France Mary-Ambre Moluh 55.55

Rolling Splits:

Marrit Steenbergen continues to be an absolute superstar on the Dutch relays. Earlier in the meet, she swam the fastest rolling split in the women’s 4×200 freestyle, and the fastest 100 free split by a woman in the mixed 4×100 medley relay, which was a blistering 52.33. Though she wasn’t quite as fast as that in this relay, she still had the fastest rolling split in 53.02. She overtook Silvia Di Pietro, powering the Netherlands to the bronze medal ahead of the Italians.

The British duo of Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson posted the second and third fastest splits in the field, though a bit off Steenbergen’s pace. Hopkin was a tenth slower than she went on the mixed medley relay, but 53.44 is still a strong split for her. She also began to close the gap for the Brits, out-splitting Sweden’s second leg Louise Hansson by .77 seconds. Anderson was under her bronze medal time of 53.63.

Silvia Di Pietro had a good swim as well, anchoring the Italians in 53.56. Though Steenbergen ran her down, Di Pietro’s 53.56 split is significantly faster than the 54.17 she anchored the mixed medley relay in.

Country Swimmer Time
Netherlands Marrit Steenbergen 53.02
Great Britain Anna Hopkin 53.44
Great Britain Freya Anderson 53.54
Italy Silvia Di Pietro 53.56
Sweden Louise Hansson 54.21
Hungary Dora Molnar 54.38
France Beryl Gastaldo 54.38
France Lucile Tessariol 54.47
Spain Lidon Munoz del Campo 54.51
Netherlands Tessa Giele 54.60
Great Britain Medi Harris 54.61
Italy Costanza Cocconcelli 54.65
Netherlands Valerie Van Roon 54.76
Hungary Petra Senanszky 54.81
Sweden Sofia Astedt 54.84
Italy Sofia Morini 54.99
Hungary Fanni Gyurinovics 55.04
Germany Angelina Köhler 55.07
Sweden Sarah Junevik 55.12
France Marina Jehl 55.21
Spain Africa Zamorano Sanz 55.44
Spain Ainho Campabadal Amezcua 55.57
Germany Chiara Klein 56.08
Germany Josephine Tesch 57.28

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9 months ago

Does an B Team Australia still win Euros?

9 months ago

What a legend

9 months ago

If France had put CharBo on the relay instead of Moluh, they might have won a bronze medal.

9 months ago

AUS, CAN, USA don’t have a worry in the women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay except from the Chinese.

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

You can add the 4x200m as well….

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

Might be true, but don’t forget that several of the countries are missing swimmers or not using their best swimmers.

Reply to  Dan
9 months ago

The results in the women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics prove otherwise.

9 months ago

It’s not worthy of a true champion the way Hosszu presents herself at the moment – it’s time to retire as a great champion and legend.

9 months ago

No 52s at all seems slow for a top level international meet.

Reply to  BearlyBreathing
9 months ago

Even an 18 year old Claire Curzan can produce a sub 53 rolling split.

Go Kamminga Go
9 months ago

All fireworks in men’s finals, not so much in women’s finals

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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