The Swedish Swim Association (Svensk Simidrott) has revealed its roster of 13 swimmers headed to the 2022 FINA Long Course World Championships held from June 18-25 in Budapest, Hungary.
Eight of Sweden’s 13 team members made the trip to the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Headlining the list is Olympic gold medalist and four-time world record holder Sarah Sjostrom, the most decorated female swimmer in Long Course World Championships history with 16 individual medals. Only Michael Phelps has more with 20. The 28-year-old Sjostrom is taking on a lighter load at her seventh World Championships this summer, opting to skip the 100 fly to focus on the 50 fly, 50 free, and 100 free.
She has four gold medals at Worlds and another at the Olympics in the 100 fly, but she hadn’t been sub-56 seconds since the 2017 World Championships. With four other women breaking that mark last year – Maggie MacNeil, Zhang Yufei, Torri Huske, and Emma McKeon – that is becoming the new standard for global medals. Meanwhile, Sjostrom is seeking her fourth 50 fly title in a row and her fourth 100 free title at the last five competitions.
Muscle atrophy caused by a broken elbow last year limited Sjostrom at the Tokyo Olympics. She said it impacted her fly more than her freestyle, a claim supported by her 7th-place finish in the 100 fly and 2nd-place finish in the 50 free.
Two-time Olympian Louise Hansson is looking to ride momentum from her first major individual gold medal from December’s Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi. The 25-year-old former NCAA champion at USC swam the opening leg (25.91) of the women’s 200 medley relay to help Sweden’s tie the world record in 1:42.38. Less than two hours later, Hansson blasted a new Swedish record in the 100 back (55.20) to bring home her second gold.
Her younger sister, Sophie Hansson – also a two-time Olympian – earned a bronze medal in the 50 breast at the same meet. At this year’s NCAA Championships, the 23-year-old finished third in both the 100 and 200 breast one year after winning both titles. Sophie, who recently moved training bases from NC State to Loughborough, also took bronze in the 100 breast at Mare Nostrum Tour in Monaco on Saturday.
Two-time Olympian Erik Persson is still improving at 28 years old. He shaved .41 seconds off his own Swedish national record with a 2:02.39 in the men’s short course meters 200 breast last September. Last summer in Tokyo, he made the final of the 200 breast, placing 8th. Persson also owns national records in the short course 100 breast (57.83), long course 100 breast (1:00.08), and long course 200 breast (2:07.66).
Tokyo Olympian Emelie Fast is the youngest member of the World Championships team at 18 years old while Sjostrom is the oldest at 28. A University of Tennessee commit for the 2023-24 season, the appropriately-named Fast made the semifinals in the 100 breast and 100 IM at December’s Short Course World Championships.
Cal sophomore Björn Seeliger will be making his first Long Course World Championships appearance after helping the Bears capture the national title in March. At last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, he placed 23rd in the 50 free (22.19). The 22-year-old Seeliger was a European Junior champion back in 2018.
A pair of Tokyo Olympians – 23-year-old distance freestyler Victor Johansson and three-time Olympian Michelle Coleman – are missing from Sweden’s World Championships lineup.
At the 2019 Long Course World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Sweden sent seven swimmers to compete and brought home five medals – one gold, two silvers, and two bronze – all won by Sjostrom. Sweden hasn’t had a medalist other than Sjostrom at the event since 2015.
- Isak Eliasson, Spårvägen SF
- Emelie Fast, Söderstörns SS
- Robin Hanson, Spårvägens SF
- Louise Hansson, Helsingborgs S
- Sophie Hansson, Helsingborgs S
- Oskar Hoff, Landskrona SS
- Sara Junevik, Falu SS
- Elias Persson, Malmö KK
- Erik Persson, Kungsbacka S
- Hanna Rosvall, Helsingborgs S
- Björn Seeliger, Stockholm’s KK
- Sarah Sjöström, Södertörn’s SS
- Sofia Åstedt, SK Elfsborg