Sarah Sjostrom Seals Show Of Strength In Rome With Another Brace & 1:55 200 Free

Sarah Sjostrom [Photo: Alessandro Trovati, Pentaphoto, for Arena]

Sarah Sjostrom completed a show of force at the Trofeu Sette Colli in Rome with another brace of victories, a 25.23 in the butterfly dash followed by a 1:55.05 in the 200m freestyle ahead of world record holder Federica Pellegrini, the Italian moving up to No 5 on the current world rankings with her best of the season so far

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Sarah Sjostrom completed a show of force at the Trofeu Sette Colli in Rome with another brace of victories, a 25.23 in the butterfly dash followed by a 1:55.05 in the 200m freestyle ahead of world record holder Federica Pellegrini, the Italian moving up to No 5 on the current world rankings with her best of the season so far


Bad Anon

Sjostrom faster than Pellegrini on every split. That was a dominant effort. it would be sad if sarah scratched the 200free in kazan

Italian fan

@Bad Anon: I’m 100% sure that Sjostrom is going to scratch 200 free in Kazan.


Here’s the Kazan schedule breakdown of Sjostrom’s events:
Day 1: 100 fly & 4×100 free
Day 2: 100 fly
Day 3 & 4: 200 free
Day 5: 100 free & 4×200
Day 6: 100 free & 50 fly
Day 7: 50 fly & 50 free
Day 8: 50 free & 4×100 medley

That means if she drops the 200 free, she’ll only be swimming one race(100 fly final) in three days. Not even a relay. I really don’t see her dropping it anymore. If she’s gonna drop a 200 free, it should be the relay where medal chances are slim.


I agree with bad Anon, it would be sad if Sjostrom scratch 200 free after showing the world what she is capable of in the 200 free.

I wish just for Kazan she scratches all relay swims instead of an individual swim.

Craig Lord

Joe, here are the arguments that will decide it, the 200 free in the middle of two different sets of rivals in the events Sarah Sjostrom pins as ‘priority’, the 200 not so but not ruled out, either… :

Bad Anon

Going through the article once again, Sarah “didn’t manage her recovery well and therefore struggled later in the week”. She may as well take a cue from Missy Franklin who has swum 100/200free and back schedule consistently. looking at the London Olympic games, Franklin won 100back final 20mins after 200 free semi and went on to set a world record in the 200back layer in the schedule and ended the meet by setting up USA women for a world record in the medley relay. If its about managing energy levels, its something that can be practised many times in training. my two cents….

Craig Lord

Bad Anon, all you say is correct, though no two swimmers are the same and Missy does not take on a 50 event as one of her main targets… Sarah does and she swims the dash in a very different way to the way she needs to tackle a 200. It is also true to say that Missy did not win all she entered and did not clock a pb in some of her events, win or not. The majority experience of swimmers, even those at the very elite end of the sport is NOT the big multi-eventing programs and success stories that apply to the few. What those closest to sarah’s program suggest is that they know her, mind and physical capacity – and taking on all events in which she could medal – 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly (and 50 at worlds), plus all three relays if Sweden makes the final comes at a risk to all of it if she wants to emerge with gold. The experiment was Berlin 2014 – a fine seven days … but one in which Sarah was pipped for the 100 fly (the most certain of golds, on paper) in the midst of a week of many commitments, even with the 200 free dropped. Kazan will show us where planning is going on the way to Rio for many a multi-eventer who will need to make choices (Hagino is among prime examples of a swimmer capable of a high level of multi-eventing … but not necessarily wise to include all he’s good at if he wants gold). Phelps is the stunning exception not the rule.

Bad Anon

I definitely agree with the above. History will also tell us that even when multi event swimmers succeed at worlds, converting such success to Olympic glory is far from simple. Which Franklin won 6golds in Barcelona for example and may probably come close in Kazan, Rio will be a different ball game. An Olympic gold in ONE individual event is enough to leave a lasting impression. Coughlin comes to mind. The likes of Sjostrom, Hosszu, Hagino etc will obviously need to cut down races for greater Olympic glory or will be remembered as the “greatest” never to win an Olympic gold just like Hoff, Van Almsick etc

Patrick S

Right now it´s doubtful if Sweden will enter a team in the 4×200 free relay, so that could make things easier for Sarah. In an interview a few weeks ago the swedish head coach said that they will wait until after the swedish championships to decide what relays they´re gonna enter. My guess is that there will be swedish relay teams in the 4×100 medley and free, but not in the 4×200 free. If Ida Marko-Varga is still “unretired” (she had a baby a few years ago, reitred, then came back for the swedish championships last year and made it to the short course world championships without doing much training at all) and swims as fast as she did at her best then i think we could see a swedish team in the 4×200, but i don´t think they will enter a team if Stina Gardell is the only choise for the fourth spot.


Craig Lord: While she has those other three main events for sure, the quotes from around Berlin I would throw out the window, because a lot has changed since(short course WR, sub 1.55 mid season etc.). As a Swede I read a lot of press about her training regime at the national center these days, and most of it is about putting the meters in the pool and not sprint specialization. Earlier she felt like a 100 sprinter doing the 200 because her coaches wanted to, but that’s not case anymore. She’s training for this event now and that makes a lot of difference in how you approach it in competition. Swapping the two relay 200s for three individual 200s where one is a 1.59-2.00 heat is basically par for the course compared to Berlin, where she was 1/100 of a second away from a perfect meet. And she’s better now.

Here’s how I see it: 100 fly is her event. Her only ‘real’ specialization, what she cares for the most. That’s the first event in Kazan and Rio. If she takes care of it, there’s nothing to lose after it. 50 fly is a bonus at the Worlds, but not an Olympic event. 50 free has some very stiff competition no matter how rested you are, a poor start/underwater/finish and you’re done. Should an athlete like Sarah really put all her marbles into such a small-margin event sacrificing a near sure medal in the 200 if only she reaches up to her standards? I say no, I’ve seen Alshammar struck out on this event so many times it makes you wanna cry. If she’s gonna swim the 200 at the Olympics(and I believe she will), now is the time to put it on her schedule and prove to herself that she can do it. She’s got World championship golds, she can afford to be bold.

Craig Lord

All good, Joe, except for throwing out quotes and views of the swimmer and several folk closest to her … that would be silly, regardless of the passing of a year 🙂


Throwing out the window was poor wording, but anyway, things change. Berlin had 100 fly jammed with other events, that’s not the case going forward. 200 free won’t interfere with her baby anymore.

Every year she keeps surprising, so that makes past quotes around her less relevant than other swimmers. It’s a good chance quotes from last month are outdated when it comes to her. She also likes to downtalk herself. I wouldn’t say she scratching on the surface of her potential, but she’s still exploring it. It’s less than 2 years ago(after Barcelona) that Sarah said she would never swim the 200 again, and I paraphrase: “it’s too long for me”. Since then she’s gone on the swim the 400 on occasion. Irony, eh. Sarah will keep being unpredictable until she’s settled her standards and I think we’ll have to live with that for another few years.

Craig Lord

Time will tell Joe, though fair to note that the quotes spoke directly to Kazan and Rio, so it would take a change of heart and mind and planning, all possible, of course.


“She’s got World championship golds, she can afford to be bold.”

Loving that quote!

Italian fan

I’m a swim fan, so I’d love to see Sjostrom competing in 200 free at Worlds, but I know the history of Sjostrom (i.e. Shangai2011, but also London2012) and Sarah’s and her coach opinion (well displayed in Craig’s piece).

It’s a real pity, I agree, because if Sjostrom could compete, for instance, only in 100 fly and 200 free she could aim for a double gold, but she and her coach think that:
1) the two best chances of gold are 100 fly and 50 fly,
2) ABOVE ALL, 3 rounds of 200 free are too exhausting for Sara and dangerous for her medal chances in the following races.


100fly is the only event where she currently has a “gap” on the rest of the field but I’m surprised that people seem to be writing off her chances in the 100fs.

Whilst the consensus seems to be have C1 as favourite; this is still an extraordinarily competitive race and Sjostrom is right there along with Heemskerk and C2 next in line. Certainly, she COULD walk away from this race without a medal but her claims here are, arguably, as strong as her 200fs.



I don’t think anyone is trying to write off her medal chances in 100 free.
What people are trying to say is that her chances for 200 free gold is greater than her chances for 100 free gold.

Which is true.



I agree that Sjosotroem’s chances at Gold in the 200m free are slightly higher than the 100m, but not by much…
Cate/Bronte Campbell, Sjostroem and Heemskerk will decide the 100m free medals.
Sjostroem, Heemskerk, McKeown, Franklin and possibly Ledecky/Hosszu will sort out the 200m free medals.
I’m precicting…

100m Free:
1. Cate Campbell 52.2
2. Sarah Sjostroem 52.4
3. Femke Heemserk 52.8

200m Free:
1. Sarah Sjostroem 1.53.7
2. Femke Heemskerk 1.54.3
3. Emma Mckeown 1.54.8

I am excited, however, to see Franklin swim at the Pro Series in USA next week and see where she compares to the big 3 in the 200m free so far in 2015. Anything under 1.55 would make Franklin a podium favourite again..


I highly doubt Franklin will swim sub 1:55 in Santa Clara.
If she does, I’ll wage all my money on her winning gold in Kazan.

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