Sarah Sjostrom Takes 2nd Gold In 52.82; Andreas Vazaios 1st Greek 200IM Champion

Sarah Sjostrom delighted by a sub-53 - by Patrick B. Kraemer

European Championships, Day 3 final: For the second time in as many days Sarah Sjostrom retained the 100m freestyle title with a bravura 52.82 victiry over Dutch challengers, Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo, on 53.24, and Femke Heemskerk, on 53.72; Andreas Vazaios, of Greece, collected a maiden internatiional title with a dominant 1:58.18 over silver for Israel’s Gal Nevo in 1:59.69 and a rare medal for Portugal, Alexis Santos on 1:59.76

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register


kevin roose

Sjostrom 52.82 not fully rested sets it up for a mouth watering clash with the Campbell sisters in Rio …..for mine the Campbell sisters 1/2 …..both going a low 52 with Sjostrom a mid 52 i would suspect…time will tell


Anyone thinking either Campbell is a lock for gold in this event is fooling themselves. Sjostrom is a very real threat and either/both of them will need to be at their very best to beat her and win gold.

At this point, it looks a “race in three”. At this point, the Americans are a long way off and Kromowidjojo looks the only other realistic candidate to break 53 but I feel her best chance will be the 50free.


Sjostrom hasn’t show anything new compare to her two years old personal best at 52.6. The 27.02 on the way out looks very good, but first of all it is in the range of Cate Campbell and secondly was it done in expense of relatively slow start? I don’t know what the ‘not fully rested means’. Was she fully rested a month ago when she made 52.7 Any way I don’t see any signs that makes people to believe that she can make 52 low in three months. I think that the personal best will stay. In Rio she won’t have a luxury not to watch on how other swimmers do next to her. The racing factor will be something that cannot be ignored. Will it help her or not is hard to say now, but at least we can say with confidence that it wouldn’t be possible to get to the final swimming 54 in semis.
Penny Oleksiak will be faster than Kromowidjojo in Rio at 100. It may take her under 53.

Bad Anon

The whole issue of being “unrested” should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Even fully rested Sjostrom may swim 52.82 in the Rio final for a minor medal. Factors such as schedule, faster prelims and semis and late night finals may greet swimmers to race time


I have followed Sjostrom’s career since that spectacular 2009 Rome swim.
And in every year, Sjostrom has always been able to churn out extremely fast swims while unrested or untapered. She is one of those extremely rare swimmers who can swim close to PBs rain or shine.
In fact, her first breakthrough in 100 free, 53.05 in December 2011 was swum untapered also.
That’s why I was surprised in the first day when I didn’t see Sjostrom’s usual speed. But it seems my worry was misplaced, she’s back to her usual speed in the 50 fly final and now in 100 free final.

As for Heemskerk, I’ve given up on her.
Again, she faltered when it mattered and the pressure is high. In the prelims, she swam relaxed and even had time to look at her competitors and slowed down in the final 15 meters when she knew she was well ahead for a nice 53.8
In the final, she tightened up from the start for 53.7


In April 2012 Eindhoven cup, Sjostrom went 53.29.
In May 2012 European championships, Sjostrom went 53.61
In August 2012 Olympics, Sjostrom went 53.93

It’s weird to see some are already predicting Sjostrom to beat BOTH Campbell sisters in Rio 100 free based on this European champs result.


I agree with the sentiments in regards to sprinters rested & unrested.
I Think we should be all in awe of Palrinieri if this was unrested, WOW, but for sprinters, hmmmm.


I rate Mie Nielsen as a strong medal chance in Rio, whether strong enough to challenge Seebohm for gold, it remains to be seen of her progress in the next few months. As it is, Seebohm still has the strongest chance for gold; her combined 50 and 200 back times are still way faster than her closest 100 back competitors.

kevin roose

i dont think predicting the Campbell sisters will win gold is fooling yourself they have justifibly earnt that favouritsm ….. Cate swam 52.38 at her trials coming back from a shoulder operation and will go quicker , Bronte did a 52.58 at the same trials going in to the meet sick again she will swim quicker …… any body betting against them 2 is very naive ..

John Svensson

Aswimfan, you’re missing one important point though. In 2012 Sjostrom was still a teenager in shool and not the professional she is today. I mean, it’s quite obvious the 2013-2016 Sjostrom is a very different swimmer. She’s gone from a modest see-what-happens swimmer to a determined champion leaving nothing to chance. Though, I don’t think anyone said she’s the favorite in the 100 free. Just that she belongs in the mix. I want to remind everybody Sjostrom is a FLY specialist first and foremost.


John Svensson,
Thanks for the info on the difference between 2012 Sjostrom and 2013-16 Sjostrom.
I agree that she has gone to a different level since 2012.
I gave the 2012 example to illustrate my point that Sjostrom in Rio may not necessarily be much faster than her European swim. But, if 2012 Sjostrom is not comparable to current Sjostrom and that now she can go much faster when tapered and fully rested, then the Campbell sisters should be very afraid.

We will see better indicator in the 100 fly final tomorrow.


In 2015, Sjostrom went 52.97 in Swedish champs and 53.00 in Sette Colli and then went 52.70 in Kazan worlds
In 2014, Sjostrom went 52.73 in the Eindhoven Cup and went her PB 52.67 in European Champs.

so, Sjostrom has improved since 2012 and is now able to swim her annual fastest times at the tapered, major championships, albeit only marginally faster.


One thing that we have to remember is the schedule.
If Sarah is to swim individual 200 free in addition to 50/100 free and 100 fly as reported, then when she swims the 100 free final, she will have swum 100 fly prelims/semis/final, 4×100 prelims and final, 200 free prelims/semis/final, and 4×200 prelims and final.

In kazan she didn’t have 200 free before her 100 free.
Tough schedule, but if any swimmer can do it, it’s her.
I’d really like her to actually swim individual 200 free, if only there has never been a female swimmer who has medaled in 50-100-200 distances.


The wise thing would be to go for the 50 free – 100 free -100 fly. It’s 3 very likely medals right there, one gold and the others who knows.

The 200 free is the big question mark. If she swims it, it can destroy her entire Olympic campaign. Remember that this girl has not won Olympic metal yet. If she does not swim it, on the other hand, we, and she, will forever wonder what would have been like.

It’s an agonizing choice.


Swimming 200 free will not destroy Sarah’s entire campaign.
100 fly is on the first and second day while 200 free is on third and second fourth day.

Actually, her swimming in all prelims and finals of relays will be more taxing. 4×100 free is on the first day and 4×200 is on the fifth day, the same day as prelims and semis of 100 free.


So by the time she swim 200 free, hopefully she will have already secured 100 fly gold. And if that is the case, her confidence will have been very strong that medals in the free events will be icing on the cake.


Aswimfan, do you remember Sjostrom’s disappointment (if not to say harder) after finishing 100 fs in Kazan when she realized that after beating Cate she lost to Bronte Campbell? Freestyle competition is not the icing on the cake for Sjostrom. She does it for real. She WANTS to be the best sprinter ever winning all sprinters disciplines in fly and freestyle. And she is so close of doing that. I agree with Luigi that this is an agonizing choice to make a realistic wise decision of getting maximum possible at this Olympic Games, sacrificing maybe some part of the Dream.


Kevin, NOBODY’s name is engraved on any Rio medals at this point ….. not even Ledecky’s. How people may choose to bet is their own judgement.

My contention with regards to the W100free, however, is that it is NOT a race where there is a prohibitive favourite but rather 3 essentially evenly matched swimmers. All have proven themselves to be regular sub53 swimmers and none has a PB that is a clear jump ahead of the others.

My view is that whilst its perfectly defensible to have C1 as a narrow favourite; any one of her, C2 or Sjostrom could win this without it being seen as an “upset”.

ASF, re Sjostrom being fast in season; C1 has also shown this characteristic in the past year or so.

Yozhik, I don’t think Kromowidjojo is likely to factor in the medals unless one or both Campbells are ruled out or hampered by illness/injury and the medal decided at 52high/53flattish. She has, however, been swimming in the 53.2-53.3 range this season which makes the above times plausible at least.

Oleksiak has certainly made an enormous leap forward this year. Sub 53 is still another significant step again. Its plausible but far from a sure-fire certainty we’ll see it this year.

ASF, completely agree re Nielsen. Whilst everybody postulates about the Australians and the Americans, she’s flying very much under the radar and she shouldn’t be. She’s a World medallist from last year who’s proven she can got significantly below 59.

kevin roose

Campbell sisters to swim Japan this weekend although in heavy workload will give us a up to the minute gauge on where they are at……until the American trials are conducted many question marks remain on certain races in Rio ….but not the 100 womens free barring mishap Campbell sisters i repeat 1/2 Rio


Sjostrom is nowhere “so close of doing” the best sprinter ever by winning all free/fly sprint events.
You may have forgotten Inge Dr Bruijn, Kristin Otto etc. who ACTUALLY swept those events. If Sjostrom wants to equal those sprinters, she needs to sweep 50/100 free and 100 fly in WR times in Rio and then repeat again in Budapest next year.
But, Sjostrom is close to becoming the first female swimmer to medal in 50-100-200.
Oh, and the best female sprinter ever already went to Dawn Fraser.


Asf, I have to admit that I have limited knowledge about swimmers from prehistoric time. So could you please educate me on the matter if mentioned by you ladies competed against world champions of such magnitude like Campbell sisters and Ledecky. Or their wins were the walking in the park. To win at 50-100-200 being squeezed from both sides by talents that come once in decades will be the groundbreaking achievement. Therefore I would sooner expect it not to happen. But I like CW’s definition of Sjostrom chances. That is her wins should they happen will be in no case considered an “upset”.



Here’s a snippet of Dawn Fraser’s achievements:

1. The first swimmer to ever threepeat in Olympics, in 100 free to boot, and so far only three swimmers have done it: herself, Egerszegi, Phelps. I don’t think this number will change for decades to come.
As many believe it, she could have likely done it for the fourth time had Swimming Australia not banned her from swimming after 1964 Tokyo.
Mind you, she did all this in the period where majority elite swimmers only lasted and peaked in 1 olympics or two at most, especially for many female swimmers who retire after they turned 18.
Also, no other female sprinters have won more than once in 100 free, not before the wars, not during 70s, not in the 90s.

2. Broke 100 free WR nine times and held it continuously from 1956 to 1972 when it was broken by Shane Gould (Gould equaled in 1971). If you think this is nothing less than astounding, considered this: this is at a period where it was easier to break WR and WRs changed hand more often. During 1956-1972 the equivalent men’s 100 free WR was changed ownerships NINE times!
She also broke and held 200 free WRs continuously from 1956 to 1966. She also broke WRs in 100 yards, 110 yards, 220 yards, 400 m and 440 yards.

3. Obviously Fraser couldn’t do anything about the fact that there were less meets and no world championships and no 50 free to speak of. But judging by her Olympics exploits and ownerships of very strong WRs, it’s not too hard to think that she would have dominated many world championships and in 50 free as well.

Also please stop with the condescending “prehistoric swimmers”, “no competition” etc.
If it were that easy for Fraser to do everything she did, then why is it that no one else was even close to achieve what she did.
50 years from now, when some people look back at today, people with your attitude and close-mindedness would also suggest that Ledecky achieved easily what she’s done is because there’s no competition.


I agree that Sjostrom win in 100 free shouldn’t be considered an upset.
But gold standards for sprinter have been set by Inge de Bruijn: winning 50/100 free and 100 fly in Olympics all in WRs.

Do I think Sjostrom can do it?
You are free to believe otherwise.
Do I think Sjostrom can medal in 50-100-200 distances?
Big yes.
You are free to believe otherwise.

IMO, This Olympics, Sjostrom has much better chance to medal in 50-100-200 distances than winning 50/100 free and 100 fly in WRs.


Aswimfan, re: Sjostrom’s Olympic campaign please do not forget that she needs to swim also prelims and semis of the 200 free is she chooses to race it.

Also, I wasn’t strictly speaking of the Olympics per se, but also of the preparation, i.e. if you have to prepare for a 200 metres race it’s extremely difficult to balance that and the honing of pure sprint speed

of course this is a purely speculative argument because right now there are only 2 months and a half left so by now she either has already prepared for that distance or she has not


I don’t know if Sjostrom has had to make special preparation for 200 free that is different than in the past years.
she has always swum 200 free internationally since 2011, it’s just that in the past two years she only swam 200 free in the relays.

Interestingly, her 200 free since 2013 have actually significantly improved by 2 seconds while not swimming it individually (and thus, we assume that she did not make special 200 free training), while her 100 free has only very marginally been faster (from 52.89 in 2013 to 52.70 last year).
Do people really believe that she will improve her 100 PB by half a second (which is needed if she wants to win 100 free) by not swimming individual 200 free?

I don’t think it makes any sense.
In 2013, she swam 200 free individually, prelims-semis-final, and it didn’t affect her 100 fly and free ONE BIT. In fact, she swam PBs in BOTH 100 free and fly.


Actually, I also wouldn’t want her to swim 200 free if the schedule has been reversed: 200 free before 100 fly. Because 100 fly is paramount to her.

But, in Rio, 100 fly will be on the first day. Her legacy and greatness will have been sealed when 100 fly final is over, so why not swimming 200 on the next day when she will have nothing else and where her chance for silver medal is greater than in 100 free and 50 free?


Swimming individual 200 free is not a problem for her as they are on separate days. And if it were up to me, I would drop Sjostrom from swimming 4×200. It’s on the same sessions as 100 free prelims and semis. By the time she swim 100 free final, she will have swum 2×100 and 2×200 the day before.


Here’s what I think is the ideal schedule for Sjostrom:
Day 1: 100 fly prelims and semis (and PLEASE NO 4×100 prelims and semis)
Day 2: 100 fly final
Day 3: 200 free prelims and semis
Day 4: 200 free final
Day 5: 100 free prelims and semis (and PLEASE NO 4×100 prelims and finals)
Day 6: 100 free final
Day 7: 4×100 medley prelims, 50 free prelims and semis
Day 8: 50 free final and 4×100 medley final.

I don’t understand why many are so against Sjostrom swimming individual 200 free where she has great chance to win medal, but say nothing about her swimming in 4×100 and 4×200 prelims and final which are on the same sessions as 100 fly and 100 free, where Sweden’s chance of medaling in is very small.


Correction. should have read:
Day 5: 100 free prelims and semis (and PLEASE NO 4×200 prelims and finals)


@asf: the swimming fans who consciously could enjoy Frazer’s more than 50 years old performance are already in the Heaven or are in the God’s waiting room. That was said to give you some sense of how far away that was. I am just wondering what stops you to go even farther in time in search for comparison. Let’s say 80 or even 100 years ago. These times may also had great Olympians. I hope this is the understanding of the fact that there is something that is not comparable by definition.
I asked for information about the intensity and the level of development of competition in women’s swimming in 50s and early 60s of last century. It is a prehistoric time for me because my history starts much later. What I’ve got from you is the bunch of data that can be obtained at wiki sites. Data is not an information. I’m sorry, I asked wrong person for help.


I have already went back in time before Fraser’s time, and no one had more achievement in sprinting greater than Fraser’s. You can use data from Wikipedia to prove that I’m wrong.

Again, in 50 years in the future, there will be persons like you who will completely dismiss Ledecky’s achievements because they think that the competition in 2012-2016 is non existent.


Judging by what you have written at swimvortex, I can conclude that for you, anything older than Ledecky’s 2012 is prehistoric.
I’m also sorry that I give the data to the wrong person.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!