Watch Simone Manuel Beat WR Holder Sjöström to Win 100 Free Gold in Budapest (Race Video)


For the second year in a row, Team USA’s Simone Manuel won the gold medal in the women’s 100m freestyle on the world’s biggest stage, beating the reigning World Record-holder in the process. In the summer of 2016, Manuel won Olympic gold over Cate Campbell, who had broken the World Record at the Australian Grand Prix in July, just prior to heading off to Rio. Now in Budapest, Manuel has done it again. In Friday night’s 100 free final, she faced Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström who had taken down the WR on Sunday while leading off the Swedish 400 free relay in 51.71. But once again, the unflappable Manuel stepped up to the block and proceeded to dispose of the World Record-holder to take home the gold medal.

Watch the race, courtesy of NBC Sports, below. It is interesting to note the different stroke styles used by Manuel and Sjöström. Manuel swims her freestyle with a straight-arm recovery, while Sjöström has a much higher elbow.

Write-up from Lauren Neidigh:


  1. GOLD: Simone Manuel, USA, 52.27
  2. SILVER: Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 52.31
  3. BRONZE: Pernille Blume, DEN, 52.69

In one of the most stacked races we’ll see this week, newly-minted world record holder Sasrah Sjostrom stormed out to the lead and was under the world record mark at the 50.  Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel started closing on Sjostrom over the second lap, and powered ahead in the final few strokes to touch out Sjostrom and take the gold medal in a new American Record time of 52.27.

Sjostrom finished in 52.31, exactly six-tenths off of the world record time she set leading off Sweden’s 4×100 free relay earlier this week.  Denmark’s Pernille Blume was a few-tenths behind the two leaders, touching in 52.69.  Mallory Comerford, who had set the American Record leading off the USA’s relay, couldn’t quite match her time either, and touched fourth in 52.77.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 2012 Olympic gold medalist, and Penny Oleksiak, who tied Manuel for gold last year, finished 5th and 6th, at 52.78 and 52.94 respectively.  The two Aussies, Bronte Campbell (2015 world champion in this event) and Emma McKeon touched in 53.18 and 53.21 to round out the field.

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3 years ago

I think Rowdy was more excited than Manuel.

E Gamble
Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

He just loves American swimming. ? ?

3 years ago

I have finally figured out a pattern that leads to a conclusion of a curse: a female swimmer who break 100 free WR BEFORE the actual individual 100 free at either world championships or Olympics is doomed and will lose the individual 100 free at worlds/olympics. This curse was started by Libby Trickett in 2004, she broke WR in 53.66 at the Australian olympics trials. Jodie Henry won the 100 free in Athens. Britta Seffen broke WR n 53.30 at 2006 european championships. Libby Tricket won 2007 worlds Libby Trickett broke WR in 52.88 at 2008 Australian Olmpics trials. Steffen won the Olympics Cate Campbell broke WR in 52.06 a few weejs before Rio. Manuel/Oleksiak won Rio Sjostrom broke WR… Read more »

Reply to  SchoolingFTW
3 years ago

Stefan broke world record in 52.2 leading off relay in 2009 and then broke it again in the individual. . .

3 years ago

2009 doesnt count. nothing in 2009 should count

E Gamble
Reply to  SchoolingFTW
3 years ago

Do you believe in ?? Really? ?

3 years ago

Go Simone! Well done! Beautiful swim for the gold!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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