Sjöström Still Strong on Relays, Splits 1:54.9 on 4×2 in Landskrona


Sarah Sjöström has dropped the 200 free from her primetime schedule for international meets, but she will still race the event from time to time. Tonight at Swedish Nationals, she split a 1:54.98 on club Södertörns’ 5th place 4×200 free relay. She was out in 55.41 and came back in a 59.57 — her NR in this event stands at 1:54.08, the silver medal-winning time from Rio.

Sjöström won the 50 free tonight in Sweden with a 23.96, about two full seconds ahead of 2nd place Magdalena Kuras (25.90) and 3rd place Louise Hansson (25.91). The world record holder’s best time is a 23.67 from last summer, though she’s been under 24 seconds countless times.

In fact, she posted 23-second 50 free’s on six different occasions from January – July of 2017 leading up to the World Champs. Read more about those six swims here. She was 23.85 at the 2017 Swedish Nationals,  eleven hundredths quicker than she was tonight.

Sjöström now moves up from #5 in the world this year to #3, with Australian Cate Campbell still on top with her 23.78 showing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games from April.

2 Pernille
DEN 23.92 06/29
3 Xiang
CHN 24.04 09/01
4 Sarah
SWE 24.08 04/07
5 Rikako
JPN 24.21*WJR 04/06

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In the men’s 400 free, there was a bit of an upset as Adam Paulsson took the win ahead of Victor Johansson. Paulson was 3:54.54 ahead of Johansson’s 3:55.78. Johansson, a USC commit, is the Swedish record holder in the 800 and 1500 free, and though he doesn’t hold the NR in the 400 free, his 3:47.33 from April is the 2nd-fastest performance in Swedish history.

Louise Hansson continues to progress in the 100 back, taking the event win tonight at 1:01.21. Her previous best was a 1:01.77, done at the Speedo Grand Challenge in California in May. If she continues to lop off more time, Sweden could work her into the backstroke leg for a potentially dangerous medley relay with her sister Sophie on breast, Sjöström on fly, and perhaps Michelle Coleman anchoring.

Swedish record holder Johannes Skagius took the win in the 50 breast, hitting a 27.60 to touch well ahead of Erik Persson (28.84). Skagius holds the Nordic record in the 50 breast at 27.02, which of course also marks the Swedish record.

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