Sophie Hansson Becomes 100 BR European Champion, Ties Swedish/Nordic Records


22-year-old Swede Sophie Hansson, an NC State member, won the 2021 European women’s 100 breast title at 1:05.69, tying her own Swedish/Nordic records. Hansson was second at the first 50 mark at 30.90, yet immediately accelerated ahead of the rest of the field during the last 25 meters. The last Swedish woman to win a European 100 breast title was Emma Igelstrom at the 2002 Berlin championships. Hansson first broke her own Swedish/Nordic records during yesterday’s semi-finals, dropping 0.48s from her previous best (1:06.17) set last month.

*Nordic Countries: Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

  • Read more about Hansson’s semi-finals record swim here.

Hansson is now the 12th-fastest performer in history and the third-fastest active performer in the world, only behind American Lilly King (1:04.13 WR) and Russian Yulia Efimova (1:04.36 ER), who placed fourth in today’s final at 1:06.33. Finishing 2-3 for Italy were Arianna Castiglioni (1:06.13) and Martina Carraro (1:06.21), who rank No. 10 and No. 6 respectively on the all-time active performers list.

All-Time *Active* Performers List: Women’s 100 BR LCM

  1. Lilly King (USA) — 1:04.13, 2017 World Championships
  2. Yulia Efimova (RUS) — 1:04.36, 2017 World Championships
  3. Sophie Hansson (SWE) — 1:05.69, 2021 European Championships
  4. Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) — 1:05.74, 2021 South African Nationals
  5. Molly Hannis (USA) — 1:05.78, 2018 U.S. Nationals
  6. Martina Carraro (ITA) — 1:05.86, 2021 Italian Olympic Trials
  7. Kanako Watanabe (JPN) — 1:05.88, 2014 Japan Swim
  8. Reona Aoki (JPN) — 1:05.90, 2018 Japan Swim
  9. Alia Atkinson (JAM) — 1:05.93, 2015 World Cup – Dubai
  10. Arianna Castiglioni/Benedetta Pilato (ITA) — 1:06.00, 2021 Italian Olympic Trials.

In the 2020-2021 world rankings, Hansson ranks No. 2 behind King’s season best of 1:05.32, giving Sweden another serious Olympic medal contender alongside sister Louise Hansson (100 fly) and sprinter Michelle Coleman (50/100 free). Top Swede Sarah Sjostrom has been nursing an elbow injury the last few months, but plans to return to racing at the beginning of June.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Breast

View Top 26»

Originally reported by James Sutherland.


  • European Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
  • European Championship Record: 1:05.53, Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 2018
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:07.07
  1. Sophie Hansson (SWE), 1:05.69
  2. Arianna Castiglioni (ITA), 1:06.13
  3. Martina Carraro (ITA), 1:06.21

Sophie Hansson backed up her semi-final performance in a big way, equalling her newly-minted Swedish Record of 1:05.69 to win gold in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Hansson’s win is Sweden’s first in the event since 2002.

Italians Arianna Castiglioni and Martina Carraro both made their way to the podium in second and third, producing respective times of 1:06.13 and 1:06.21. This is Castiglioni’s third Euro medal in the event, having won bronze in both 2014 and 2018.

Locked out of the medals in fourth was 2018 champion Yuliya Efimova, who clocked 1:06.33. The last time Efimova missed the podium in this event at a major meet was the 2012 Olympics. The 29-year-old said she was fully focusing on the 100m event after failing to qualify for the Olympics in the 200 at the Russian Trials.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Coach Rob
4 months ago

I’ve never been to nor heard of the country Nordic. Swimswam might mean Netherlands? Anyways, she swam well. Doubt she’ll make it out of the pond though.

Reply to  Coach Rob
4 months ago

Have you heard of the country “European”? That record is often referred to as well. “Nordic” typically denotes the Scandinavian countries.

And you’re right – she swam exceptionally well. Congrats!

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

Read More »