W4x200 Free: Gold For The United States; Sarah Sjostrom Blazes 1:54.31 Leadoff

Swimmers of team United States of America (USA) pose with their Gold medals after finishing first in the women's 4x200m Freestyle Relay Final during the FINA Swimming World Championships at Kazan arena in Kazan, Russia, 6 August 2015.

With Missy Franklin leading off and Katie Ledecky anchoring, the United States had little trouble capturing the gold medal in the 800 freestyle relay.

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With Missy Franklin leading off and Katie Ledecky anchoring, the United States had little trouble capturing the gold medal in the 800 freestyle relay.

Comments

Yozhik

Congratulations to USA team. Job well done.

Re Thomas

She didn’t swim it because she wasn’t going to be able to do 2 200free prelims and then produce a great time in the final. She was scared to lose. Ledecky, who has had the hardest schedule by far, wasn’t.

Yozhik

Congrats to Sarah as well for raising in ranks.
Who needs this exhibition swim without any pressure and responsibility. Maybe it is too hard to go all the way through prelims, semis and finals with all this pressure and nervousness. Look what has happen to Heemskerk who was very good at 4×100 relay.
Before WC I will put 7:3 for Sarah against Ledecky. But there is something that Sarah didn’t show yet at 200 free – will to win in race against someone else, but not clock.

Eugene

Sjostrom did everything right. Skips the 200, focuses on shorter sprint, wins it (probably)… and easily shows her real power in 4×200 relay making winners of individual 200 event feel a bit embarrassed. Sarah be like: “Okay girls, I’ll let you take that medal, even though I’m better”. Like a boss!

Yozhik

Yes. Eugine. She did everything right. Like Bobby Fisher telling everybody that he is the boss not playing chess any more after getting champion title.

Yozhik

Sory for misspelling your name. Eugene.

Re Thomas

Let’s let Ledecky do a few 100 meter swims and the. Let her swim the 200 free. She would go 1:54 low too.

Nick Pettersson

I really think Sarah would have won the 200 if she had raced in it. But she says it would take to much energy and her sprint distances would suffer. And I think, maybe just maybe, she’s going for a WR in 50 fly. But with 5 200 races that would be out of question… And she always says she hates 200 and swims it because she can. So if Sweden enters with a relay team in 4×200 in the olympics, she will swim the relay but not individual. And that would be a shame…

Syd Mcdowell

Anyone know if Mel wright is injured ?

Haakon Stokke

Sorry – too many ignorant gnomes . Missing ASF.

I am out.

DDias

The Swedish fourth girl giving a true meaning for ANCHOR.

Amazing swimming by Sarah.

commonwombat

Ledecky and Sjostrom are two very different swimmers with differing skill sets & physiology whose ‘repetoires’ just intersect at the 200FS. One at the furthest end of her “internationally competitive” range; the other at the shortest.

Whilst the “who’s better” is tantalising; I fully understand & can agree with Sjostrom’s “call” with regards to her targeted events at these Championships. The 50/100 doubles in both FS & fly were/are all events where she goes in as either favourite or joint favourite whereas the 200 was always going to be a ‘crap shoot’.

For all the lauding Hosszu as the “Iron Lady” with regards to the events entered, has it proved to be a particularly intelligent approach as evidenced with results. WILL Ledecky necessarily have the petrol to attempt the 200 through 1500 as she gets older or will she start getting more selective ?

Yozhik

Roy, Ledecky has been already well below 1:55 in relay last year. She bettered her 100 for almost 0.5 sec in January. She also said that she expected to be under 1:55 at this championships. So I assume she did it at practice more than one time.

Yozhik

In two years everybody will forget about Sarah’s unrealized potentials at 200 free at WC and Olympics Games. But people will remember Ledecky’s 4 solo golds and whoever wins Olympic gold. Does Sarah care about that? Probably not. As was said at another forum she is not against Ledecky she is against Campbelles.

gheko

Katie is already planning a 200m 400m 800m triple in Rio, the 1500m will not be an option in Rio

Felix Sanchez

I wouldn’t say Sjostrom did anything wrong, but we surely can’t say she did everything right. Bragging rights mean nothing. At least part of her must be questioning her decision, while Ledecky – deservedly – has all the hardware.

gheko

When was the last time three aussies went 1.58 in a 4x200m? pathetic!

beachmouse

6th place in the women’s 100M free at recent US selection meets has been 54.44 in 2012, 54.65 in 2013 and somewhere around 54.51 in 2014 (don’t have Pan Pacs to cross check that one)

So IMO, a very reasonable goal for a 1:55 200M swimmer like Ledecky looking to drop down and see if she can make it into the top six and therefore the 4×100 FR pool for Rio. As long as it doesn’t look like her 800 training is suffering in the process, I bet we do see her dabbling in high level sprinting in 2016.

commonwombat

Felix, Sjostrom is likely to leave Kazan with two and quite possibly four individual Gold medals …… and you sniff that Ledecky “has all the hardware ??

Roy; going off her current program Sjostrom still has 3 individual events (50 free, 100free/100fly) where she’s strong medal chance at worst/favourite or equal favourite. Ledecky has two where she’s prohibitive favourite (400/800) and another where she may be a narrow favourite but the event resembles a ‘crap shoot’.

Sarah & her coach MAY reconsider but THEIR measured approach certainly looks likely to pay a higher dividend than the scatter-gun approach of the Hosszu camp. It’s certainly the more intelligent.

Richard Ortiz

Katie very much so reminds me of Phelps in the 100. Not a lot of speed going out, but a motorboat coming back. All she has to do in the 200 is stay in contact for the first 100 and then let nature take over for her final 100.

Nick Pettersson

I agree, and disagree with you Roy. There is a slight chance to medal in 4×200 for Sweden in Rio. And we don’t need to find a new Sjöström for that. But it’s a compelling thought cause that would spell gold… But find someone who can do 1.58, and we have a good chance of being on the podium.

Anyway. Great swim by team USA and I’m delighted to see another gold medal for Ledecky. That one is just… Nah, I’m lost for words.

Craig Lord

Plus a bit of effort an a huge amount of work for a fair few years, Richard 🙂

Yozhik

Roy, if more than one girl besides Sjostrom shows potential to swim under 1:55 next season then Sjostrom will skip 200 again

Ger

I agree that Hosszu has overburdened her program. Both IM’s and 200 back would I think make more sense for Rio. But in Kazan, she didn’t swim the 200 IM smartly and went unnecessarily fast in the heat and semi.
The “Iron Lady” brand has not flourished since the exploits of event 1.

Ger

Has there been any insight as to Franklin’s swimming this week? Not enough preparation time? Not in a good place mentally?

Yozhik

I would appreciate Sjostrom teamwork at 4×200 relay and her great swim should she swim any but first leg. No they leave the slowest one to get embarrassed at the end. I took it as it was all about her. How superior she is at this distance. Maybe I am wrong taking it this way.

Yozhik

Ok, Roy. I am taking it back. I don’t have any rights to accuse elites swimmer of skipping competition because of fear to lose.

Craig Lord

It may not have been meant like that, Yozhik, but fairly cruel to the last in, who was, inevitably, going to be mowed over – and coaches must surely have guessed at it.

Richard Ortiz

Well said, Craig. Well said.

beachmouse

Wonder if the Americans will give McLaughlin a shot at the medley relay spot. She is swimming so very well here- her 200 fly final time was a 17-18 national age group record-and she was quicker mid-season in the 100 fly than Claire Donahue was in Kazan.

Yozhik

I think that women swimming has never had such bright collection of stars before. – Campbell, Sjostrom, Hosszu, Ledecky and Franklin (if she gets back to her best form). As a consumer of this show we have rights to consume only but not to demand. If Sjostrom and her team thinks that this is the best way to proceed with her swimming career then let it be this way. What I cannot accept as a consumer the relay like we witnessed today. If Sjostrom swam with the same strength last leg moving Sweden from 8 position to the forth one I will applaud her team efforts and will appreciate her exceptional time. But making this race all about her image and making her teammate look like a dirt that she has to deal with is not good in my opinion.
Check the people’s reactions – “…Sweden needs one more Sjostrom…”, “…fourth girl giving a true meaning for ANCHOR…”. And they all are right. That is the impression of the race that we’ve left with. Is it what sport is about in team competition? If you want to make a statement at 200 then do it in competition. The way it was shown today is too cheap to my taste.

Milan Medo

Yozhik
How long have you been watching swimming? How can you not see that Sweden’s tactic was to put Sarah first to give the remaining girls clear water and hence a better chance to medal? And it almost paid out. Coleman and Hansson were able to drop time from their heats swims thanks to that. It is arguable that Sweden would have swam a better time had they went with the order of slowest to fastest, it is more probable they would have swam slower because of all the wake.
Go ahead and remember that relay as you want, it will be your memory. Everyone will have their own memory. And how is it cheap? Sarah and her coach announced months in advance she wouldn’t swim the 200 free individually and she always swims relays.
Besides, 100 free is harder to win these days with times way closer to the WR than the 200 so she isn’t afraid of anyone.

If you cannot accept these things as a consumer, there is a simple solution, stop watching. Cheers ^^

beachmouse

Also, with many athletes, having a target across the pool can inspire them to take it into that extra gear in an attempt to run down the competition. The Italians were 7th at the halfway, and Pellegrini dove in in 5th position, and the Lioness of Verona drew aim on the backs of the women ahead of her and was able to move her squad up to a very good silver spot.

Personal Best

A bit unfair on Ledecky really.
Doesn’t matter what transpired in the relay, Ledecky won the individual.

Natalie Coughlin had a faster relay lead off than the individual winning time a few years back. Lenton (Trickett) the same in 2005 or 07 (can’t remember which now). Neither won or swam in the individual 200.

Ledecky is one of the best 200 freestyle swimmers; not too shabby for the 1500m WR holder.

With respect to her efforts next year; totally plausible that she can win gold from 200m to 800m.

aswimfan

Arrrghh… after sleep deprivation for a few days, I fell asleep last night and missed the final!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…. ggrrrrrrrrrr

Sjostrom.. what can I say..

From 2011 to 2013 I always advocated for Sjostrom to drop 200 because I just thought she paid too much effort without certainty at medal while undermining and negating her 100 fly (which she missed medaling in both 2011 and 2012).
But from last year there was clear evidence she’s gained more and more strength in all across events. And I saw that swimming 200 free would not have negated her other events.
Not only that, This year I truly believed she would win 200 free.

You can actually search my comments in this site will be able to trace my changing in opinion about Sjostrom’s 200 free from 2013.

There’s a difference between Hosszu dropping 100 back and 200 fly with Sjostrom dropping 200 free. Hosszu was not going to win 100 back with Seebohm in it or 200 fly. Meanwhile, Sjostrom this year is a more superior 20 freestyler than the rest, She is the only one with regular sub 53 in 100 and swam 400 free in 4:06 just for fun. She can go out with Heemskerk but still have the endurance to bring it home.

n my opinion, now anything less gold in 100 free would be less than satisfying as she sacrificed a more surefire 200 free for 100.

But maybe she values 100 free more than 200 free because 100 is swimming’s premiere event and has more prestige?

In any case, is everyone wondering what’s with yozhik’s attacks towards sjostrom and the swedes?

Yozhik

ASF my girlfriend who broke my heart was swede. 🙂

From the NYT:
“For Katie Ledecky to defeat a group that included sprinters in the 200, after having conquered a 1,500 field that included long-distance open-water specialists, was extraordinary.” That is about it. She takes challenge and she competes. Same can be said about Sjostrom. She is an extraordinary swimmer. She competes fiercely to be the greatest sprinter. If this requires sacrificing other distances then do it for good and don’t send mixed messages. So the people like me will shut up and will open their mouth to say something admirable only.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

Ah, so it’s about Ledecky.
You can worship Ledecky if you want, but please do not attack other swimmer.

Yozhik

To make a peace, let’s blame it on my broken English that you didn’t understand what I’m about.

aswimfan

Imagine if Sjostrom wins 50-100 free. She could have been the first female swimmer to win 50-100-200.

And I agree with Sjostrom the epitome of speed endurance

Yozhik

Roy, I think nobody will argue that Sjostrom was favorite at 200. But you said many times that you like sport first of all for competition and you value medals more than time and records. When it comes to Sjostrom I am totally agree with you with that. If she wants to be a champion at 200 then go and compete. Hints of her potentials have no value to me.

zaldine laxa

LOL. Roy, Ledecky already had 1:54+ split on the 200 Free relay @ Pan Pacs. And without the 1,500 free in Rio, I will bet my a*s on the line for her. She’s a competitor, and if Sjostrom will be there then she will take it as a motivation.

Yozhik

Actually 1:54.31 is a step back for Sjostrom. She was much faster last year in Berlin. Maybe not showing any progress at this distance during the season (1:54.71 only), having very fast Heemskerk (1:54.68) and some uncertainty about Ledecky’s and Franklin’s standing made the championship at 200 questionable for Sjostrom. Who should know that 1:55.1 will be enough?

Yozhik

Sjostrom’s 200m free in relays
Berlin 2014: 0.38 26.20 28.20 28.97 29.26
Kazan 2015: 0.69 26.72 28.79 29.67 29.13

aswimfan

Yozhik,
In Berlin she was not the leadoff.
We cannot compare.
We often see swimmers smashing incredible times when anchoring, especially when they have a target to outswim.

Felix Sanchez

Commonwombat,

I think you’ve missed the context of the comment, and it was unnecessarily rude to call it a ‘sniff’.

I just reject Eugene’s suggestion that Sjostrom has made some significant statement and ‘done everything right’. I don’t think someone else having the best time will bother Ledecky, who has both 200free golds (or the other medalists); whereas Sjostrom has nothing to show for her good time and is likely to have some doubts about her decision.

Perhaps doing everything for the team here – to the detriment of her own medal prospects (and Sweden’s really) – will allow her to make the case for prioritising individual events over relay swims in Rio. Though of course, no 50fly.

aswimfan

I agree with everyone here who are championing Sjostrom to drop all relay duties in Rio, not just 4×200 but also both 4×100

It’s just not fair when she swims basically the fastest swims of the meet in the relays but no medal to show.

craig watson

Disappointing Aussie girls.

Yozhik

Milan, my swimming watching experience is not long enough to use it as undeniable argument. That’s why I am here to learn from other people including you. If to accept Aswimfan’s point of view then letting Sjostrom to start relay was not good for the team. Berlin’s relay last year proves this point. She was much faster swimming third leg. Yesterday’s relay was faster than Berlin’s one (7:50.24 vs 7:51:03) but not thanks to Sjostrom. Should she swim with same dedication as last year then Sweden team would get to the podium. So I got an impression that putting Sjostrom at first leg was done mostly to give her opportunity to show that she could win 200m free. Yes she COULD but she DIDN’T. End of the story.

Yozhik

Aswimfan, I don’t see problems to compare Sjostrom’s relay splits. That is why I added reaction times. Yes we also have to consider the momentum that swimmer has starting at intermedium leg. A swimmer at first leg does it from static position. But even with all these adjustments it is obvious that Sjostrom was faster at first, second and third fifties with the same speed at the end.

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