Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Sweden’s Louise Hansson has been one of the breakout stars of the 2021 International Swimming League (ISL) season, elevating from solid contributor to elite point-scorer for the upstart Toronto Titans.
Some of Hansson’s performances have flown a little under the radar this season, due primarily to the fact that she swims a lot of the same events as one of the greatest swimmers of the current era, fellow Swede Sarah Sjostrom, and therefore isn’t knocking off national records left and right.
But Hansson, a 24-year-old who was previously a three-time NCAA champion at USC but has since moved to Loughborough University to pursue a Master’s degree, has simply had phenomenal swims so far this season, and that was best exemplified during the women’s 100 butterfly at Match 5.
Hansson absolutely demolished the field by well over a second in a time of 55.26, four one-hundredths shy of the fastest-ever time done in ISL competition (a 55.22 from Kelsi Dahlia one match earlier) and a time good enough to launch her up into seventh on the all-time performers list.
During the Match 5 of the 2021 International Swimming League in Naples, Italy, Louise Hansson won the women’s 100 fly with a 55.26, just 0.04 short of the ISL record. Now she is the 7th fastest performer of all time. pic.twitter.com/GzS4HoHGbK
— Swimming Stats (@SwimmingStats) September 10, 2021
Hansson’s swim was also a massive best time, knocking more than three-quarters of a second off her old mark of 56.02. She’s now just over six-tenths shy of Sjostrom’s world (and Swedish) record of 54.61, set back in 2014, though Sjostrom hasn’t been faster than Hansson’s 55.26 since 2018.
Hansson also dropped a scintillating 54.73 100 fly split on Toronto’s women’s 4×100 medley relay during Match 5, hit a personal best time of 25.19 in the 50 fly during the skins competition (that she ultimately won), took third in the individual 50 fly and finished fourth in the 100 IM with a PB of 58.52.
These performances, plus some crucial relay contributions, earned Hansson the Match 5 MVP award, having scored 57.5 points.
The Titans broke through and won the match—their first-ever in franchise history—and have continued to keep the ball rolling by leading Match 7 through one day of competition over the defending champion Cali Condors.
Hansson has continued to play a key role, adding another 100 fly win at the match (55.42, beating Dahlia head-to-head) and proving to be a key cog on Toronto’s relays that picked up one win and one runner-up finish.