Svensk Simdrott, the Swedish Swimming Federation, has launched a series of huge nationwide virtual meets, aimed at swimmers aged 21-and-under, to keep their aquatic community engaged during the absence of traditional meets.
More than 80 clubs and 10,000 swimmers participated in the country’s first two-week run of the program, which featured races in the 25 fly, 50 breast, 100 back, 200 fly, and 25 “feet first” swimming.
The program, mostly for fun, will distribute SK 2,500 (about USD2,500) in prizes to the top performers across a 10-week program (split into 5 two-week periods).
At the end of every 2 week period, coaches will submit results from intrasquad time trials. No officials are required, and results are taken on an honor system. For those reasons, the times also won’t be accepted into official times databases or for qualifying.
- Weeks 15/16 – 25 fly, 50 breast, 100 back, 200 fly, 25 ‘feet first’
- Weeks 17/18 – 25 breast, 50 back, 100 fly, 400 IM, 800 free
- Weeks 19/20 – 25 back, 50 fly, 200 IM, 200 free, 1500 free
- Weeks 21/22 – 25 free, 100 IM, 100 free, 200 breast, 25 underwater kick
- Weeks 23/24 – 50 free, 100 breast, 200 back, 400 free, 50 ‘mini IM’
Swimmers are ranked in each two-week period against single-age swimmers from across the country from ages 12 through the top 21-and-older age group. The top-ranked swimmer weekly in each event receives 100 points, 2nd 99, 3rd 98, and so on. At the end of the period, the top-performing swimmers will receive prizes.
While the country’s top-tier Olympic-caliber swimmers largely didn’t participate, there were a few swims that are worth mentioning even independent of the larger cultural purpose of the program.
We’re presuming, based on the inclusion of 25 meter races, that swims can be in either short course or long course, given that the official documents don’t specify.
- 18-year old Edith Jernstedt, who represented Sweden at the 2019 European Junior Swimming Championships, swam the 200 fly (2:11.49), 100 back (1:01.13), and 50 breast (32.51). While the times won’t officially count, the 100 back and 50 breast swims are both lifetime bests for her.
- 16-year old Ebba Hann swam 11.90 in the 25 fly to lead all women.
- 19-year old Robin Bjorklund led all men with an 11.00 in the 25 fly.
- For anyone looking for a new challenge when their pool reopens, the best time on the women’s side of the pool was a 22.13 from 20-year old Julia Augustsson. For the men, Bjorklund was supreme again with a 19.00 in the 25 feet-first swim.
- Samuel Tornqvist, a rising senior at Virginia Tech in the United States, participated as well, swimming a 53.37 in the 100 back. In addition to being the best time in the field by more than 3 seconds, that’s his lifetime best by 9-tenths of a second (54.25).
Sweden, which has been a topic of hot discussion globally given the relatively-light lockdown measures they’ve imposed, announced this week that it would allow training and competition for young athletes so long as guidelines on sizes of those gatherings and other social distancing protocols are followed.