Official: Sarah Sjostrom True To Her Word – There’ll Be No 200 Free at Kazan Worlds

Sarah Sjostrom by Patrick B. Kraemer

The confirmation is in: no 200m freestyle for Sarah Sjostrom, of Sweden, at the World Championships in Kazan. The official book of entries tells us that the butterfly world champion is true to her word and will be focussing on the 50 and 100 ‘fly and 50 and 100 freestyle as her solo events as well as taking on relay duties for her country

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The confirmation is in: no 200m freestyle for Sarah Sjostrom, of Sweden, at the World Championships in Kazan. The official book of entries tells us that the butterfly world champion is true to her word and will be focussing on the 50 and 100 ‘fly and 50 and 100 freestyle as her solo events as well as taking on relay duties for her country



Craig, could you please explain below paragraph:

“China’s Sun Yang* is down for all four freestyle races from 200 to 1500m and in the absence of the likes of Yannick Agnel and Michael Phelps has a shot at history, no man having won gold in all those distances at a world championships.”

I can see Sun Yang racing the four freestyles (200 to 1500) in Kazan entries list.


He’s explained exactly what you’ve said


Even if Phelps were in Kazan, he would have had no strong impact on 200 free results. Agnel, on the other hand, is the biggest loss. Had Agnel been in Kazan, I would have bet my money on him to win 200 free.

The closest anyone to 200/400/800/1500 golds is Hackett in 2005 where he won 200 silver and golds in the other events, so if Yang does it in Kazan, he will be the first swimmer to do it. That is, unless Ledecky does it first, but Yang would be the first male swimmer.

John Liu

I would argue that Sun Yang’s chances at the quadruple are higher than Ledecky’s. Obviously, Ledecky’s fate is pretty much set in the higher distances, but she is at best, fourth pick, in the 200 free and faces a much stronger field, relatively, than Sun does in the 200.

On the men’s side, the only 3 men to beat Sun in the event in the last 5 years are out of the competition for various reasons and if he returns to any semblance of his previous championship form, he should win. If he wasn’t in this shape, I would question his coach’s decision to place him into all 4 (at least drop the 800 if he thinks this is best shot at the 200…)

Craig Lord

As Felix suggests and aswimfan explains, maxhardie

Craig Lord

John Liu, I would question his coach and doctors’ decision to prescribe ‘essential’ heart drugs to an athlete with the kind of load he’s long had on his hands over such a long period of time. In some other countries he would have been forced to retire long ago if the condition was serious enough to warrant the kind of medicine he was said to have needed. I use my words advisedly, having spoke to medical experts about it.
A reader noted in other comments that Chinese reports stated that the first best remedy for the condition was: Sun should retire. Sun wanted to swim on (of course), so a panel of people decided how. Vasorel was agreed as the remedy (main ingredient Trimetazidine).

The reader noted: “Sun Yang’s medicine was prescribed by an expert panel of four cardiologists from Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital. The chief doctor is Qu Baiming, director of the cardiology department. He was also interviewed after Sun’s case. Dr. Ba Zhen technically is not the one who prescribed the medicine.”

But Ba Zhen did take the wrap. The above may explain the reticence of Chinese authorities to punish Ba Zhen (and impose no sanction on Sun until forced to do so by FINA – which accepted a backdated suspension that was far too lenient), now with 2 suspensions to his own name – and for allowing (for someone must indeed have allowed it) Ba Zhen to work with Sun on the deck at the Asian Games. No punishment for the officials who allowed – yes, it must have been allowed – that to happen.

bkkang Kang

Actually SY was suffering from viral Myocarditis aftermath Beijing 2008, Vascorel (TMZ) was medicated clinically to managed his heart problems and thereafter as a (heart flu) remedy. Currently there is a three parts youtube documentary video ‘Sun Yang oversea channel ‘on available in Sun Yang 1201 instagram. Interestingly much truths can be learned from digesting this video before judging him. Anyway, he has almost flawless stroke mechanics , arm reach of 2.12 meter (MP 2.03m) and huge lung capacity of 7000… and great determination to make him a great champion unparalleled. Go SUN Yang go Kazan!

Craig Lord

bkkang Kang, it is unlikely that a treatment for viral Myocarditis in 2008 would explain why the substance in question was still being administered to this swimmer in 2014. The condition can be fatal. We are talking about an elite athlete, an Olympic champion, a swimmer whose elite career is almost a decade long. It is not a question of judging the swimmer personally, it is a question of judging a system that leads to a huge loss of faith. You are a fan of the swimmer; others have to race against him, and many in the sport find what happened last year deeply unpalatable, including Sun working with Ba Zhen on deck at the Asian Games and acting like nothing had happened. Swimmer, doctor and the Chinese Swimming Association (responsible officials therein) showed a total lack of respect for the rules of engagement.


I find it amusing that someone could argue for one swimmer, and then against another. Doping is doping.

And what a pity that Sarah is concentrating on her priority swims rather than giving the fans what they want. What is this world coming to.

Craig Lord

Indeed, on Sarah – we’re all going to hell in a handcart, Wez 🙂

Your other comment – not sure who that is intended for; can’t see anyone arguing for one swimmer and against another in this thread, at least, unless I missed something?


Craig, do you ever miss anything?

My point was not relevant to this particular article, but rather a more general view. Whether it was a mistake, or on purpose, or indeed medical (as proclaimed in this case, where if that was so, proper procedure should have been followed as to not tarnish the swimmers reputation, should a drug test come about), the bottom line is that it happened, there should be remorse, there should be rehabilitation through a suspension, and there should ultimately be forgiveness, but never forgetting.

There are so many world class athletes still in the swim of things that have that little asterisk. Some who have Olympic medals.

Craig Lord

All good, Wez, thanks for the explanation; I agree with those sentiments.

I try not to miss much if I find it interesting 🙂


Ledecky a far better chance of the quad than Sun. We know what we are getting from Katie. Easy victories in the 4,8,15 & for me the one to beat in the 2. Sun on the other hand we really don’t know where he’s at, yes he is capable but have his best years been and gone…? We shall find out soon


Thanks Felix, aswimfan and Craig, I wrongly interpreted down as out. I don’t think different standards on doping offenses are fare. Shouldn’t FINA make sure equal treatment to avoid situations like this.

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