Sarah Sjostrom Will Bypass The 200 Free At World Champs: 50-100m Free & ‘Fly The Focus

Sarah Sjostrom by Patrick B. Kraemer

Sarah Sjostrom will not race the 200m freestyle at the World Championships, the Swedish ace and her coach have told the media in Sweden as national championships came to a close in Sundsvall after six golds in five days in the world 100m butterfly champion’s last outing before the global gathering in Kazan

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Sarah Sjostrom will not race the 200m freestyle at the World Championships, the Swedish ace and her coach have told the media in Sweden as national championships came to a close in Sundsvall after six golds in five days in the world 100m butterfly champion’s last outing before the global gathering in Kazan



“I’ve swum fast.”

I just spluttered tea all down my front while reading that.


A pity; it takes some gloss off the 200m but still a great race to look forward to. The 100m free is going to be some showdown and I can’t see her not breaking the WR in the 100 butterfly.


It seems like no one in the world can actually swim 50 fly except Sarah.


Eugene do you mean no one except Sarah or no female female butterflyer except Sarah. A lot of male butterflyers swim the 50 fly pretty well.

So Cal Swimmer

I agree with Ger. The 100 fly record is soon to be history. It was wonderful to watch Dana Vollmer dip under 56 seconds, but now I think Sarah is ready to take the record to the mid-55 range. Her battle with Cate Campbell in the 100 freestyle will be epic.


Well, this is disappointing.

Her chance in both 50/100 free is no greater than in 200 anyway.

Italian fan

A no-news that Sjostrom won’t race the 200 free at Worlds.
I wrote this in every occasion in the past, but even yesterday I read a lot of posts with Sjostrom’s name at top of the list of 200 free favorites.
A bit disappointing in a site of swimming (not football where everyone writes everything) with real swimming fans, anyway..


Fine, Sarah. I want you to swim the lead-off leg for Sweden on the 4×200 then. Get yourself a flat start time for Rio.


Well, aswimfan, please accept my deepest condolences. Your hope just died. Another Bobby Fisher story. She will never got beaten at 200 free because she will never swim it. The legend just got born. What a shame. What I wish is that this race in Kazan show some very fast time so everybody would say how smart Sarah and her team are. So it would be no shadow of doubts. May be she expected to swim faster than 1:54:77 and it didn’t happen. So hard racing with possibility to be out of podium affected her decision? Who knows and there is no reason to guess anymore. She is out.

Viva la Bang

She will have too many hard (freestyle)races to add the 200m free, should win the 50/100 fly easily!


Italian fan you should be proud of yourself not disappointed. If everybody has such a vision of the future and such analytical skills like you have then there would be no reason for anybody to go to forums like this. Thanks for your clever expertize.


It doesn’t matter if she swims 1:53 flat in the lead-off 4×200. She won’t medal in individual or relay anyway.

yes, I am still bitter she won’t swim 200 free.
I was a strong advocate for her of NOT swimming the 200 free, but that was before she showed she could split 1:53 relay, 1:54 individual and consistently 1:55 in every 200 free she swam in the past year.

In fact, Kazan schedule is perfect for her to try out all of her events as they don’t overlap with each other, except for 50 m fly semi after 100 m free in which she’s way ahead of the rest of the world anyway.

Craig Lord

A wish is a powerful thing Ifan…. 🙂 meanwhile, our reporting has been consistent and we have reminded readers on several occasions of our interview with Carl Jenner from last year and what Sarah has long said – ‘no 200’ on the big occasion. So when she confirms it at a time of much discussion over the 200 and on a weekend when Federica goes 1:55 flat, of course it is news, which is why is has been reported extensively in Sweden (and beyond)… she’s a 1:54 swimmer; her choices will continue to be interesting …


The goal is a relay squad in Rio it seems. But the last 50 of her 100 free this weekend was scary fast.


Ooh she’s gunning for the Campbell sisters obviously… Gauntlet thrown


Pity. I would have thought she was much more likely to win 200m than 100m (I give her a good chance in the 50m though). I think cate Campbell will be too far ahead (I reckon she’ll do at least 52.2 if not faster)


So has she declared she won’t swim the 200 free in Kazan or Kazan AND rio??


Why is she bothering to swim relays?
Sweden wont medal in any.

Craig Lord

Kazan, specifically MaxN … but the 200m is, in general, not a priority compared to the 50/100 free and 100 fly come Rio as things stand. The program in Rio is not the same as at worlds, of course, though the same pattern seen as a barrier is there: 100 fly… then 200m on way to 100 and 50 free.

Craig Lord

Peter, my take in surface terms: without her, Sweden may not have a relay worth taking to the main meet, so no development, no chances for others, no chances for her to experience relays – and the loss of feeling that she belongs to a team, which can be an important factor come the hour.

Italian fan

Yes Craig, a wish is a powerful thing, but sometimes reality is so clear…
And your interview with Sjostrom’s coach was exhaustive, thus as was quite clear Sjostrom’s memory of her difficulties to swim 3 rounds of 200 at a international level.
Ok, in Shangai2011 Sjostrom wasn’t the swimmer that she is now, but certain characteristics of a swimmer remain and, above all, just sort of “braveheart swimmers” (Hosszu, Ledecky, Belmonte among women, and Phelps, Lochte or Hagino among men) can swim, at Worlds or Olympics, a race like the 200 free beside other 3 or 4 events .
And these “braveheart swimmers” have characteristics of endurance and a way of training different from Jenner’s training for Sjostrom, obviously more “speed-oriented”.

Craig Lord

🙂 and multi-tasking hasn’t always worked out well for those on your Braveheart list Italian fan 🙂 It is very tough to do the stuff they do – just how tough is sometimes overlooked.


Craig, sports is all about winning. sarah sjostrom being part of a team for the relays is all good but the history books will only recognize those who won something, most especially a gold medal. I think sjostrom realizes this.
Michael Phelps was a winner but most people don,t even know the names of the swimmers he competed against bcos most of them didn’t win anything.
Yes not everybody can win in sports but the ultimate goal in sports is to win and that is what Sarah sjostrom wants.


I agree with peter but I think she should not skip all the relays. She should only swim the relays where Sweden have a chance of medalling and to me that might be the medley relay. Jeaneatte ottesen is out so she won,t swim the butterfly for Denmark.
So Sweden could sneak into third place in the women,s medley relay behind Australia and the US. As for the 4×100 free and 4×200 free relays, I don,t think she should swim those two.

Hey I,m just kidding so don,t take offence. For the medley relay, I think Sweden should clone Sarah sjostrom. The original sjostrom should swim the butterfly leg while the clone should swim the freestyle leg. Hey, I,m just kidding.

Craig Lord

Yes, Roy but neither your perspective nor mine is relevant to the swimmer in question: she and her coach have set a course – and my job is to record that as a writer; that’s what I was doing, including in my take and interpretation.


I just think it’s strange idea that Sjostrom drop 200 free where she’s a gold medal contender but swim in all relays that Sweden has minimum chance to even medal.


Sjostrom not swimming the 200 at Worlds is in accordance with what Craig has reported based on interviews with the Sjostrom camp long time ago, and should not be a surprise to anyone. Including the 200 would be too much of a drain, keeping in mind her previous experience from big meets where she tired at the end of those. As the Swedish 800 team has qualified to compete at Kazan I think it is an automatic within the team and for Sjostrom herself that she should take part there.


Roy, what you said about sport is so right. But you should not simplify it to this one dimension. Yes people will first forgot who the second was. But same fate is expecting those who was the first. It will happen just a little bit later. Sport involves much more dramas than just a win – for those who are in the pool as well as for those who are on the stands. What lives longer than win records are legends made by swimmers like IFan’s “bravehearts”. My heart with them. No matter what Sarah achieves as the sprinter I will never vote for her as the Athlete of the Year as I did last year. Does she care about my vote? I don’t think so 🙂 and this is another beauty of the sport. It is part of personal life and everybody is entitle to do with it whatever they want.


@craig did team Sjostrom reveal anything about Rio plans for 200? I can see (sort of) working it for the relay teams for the worlds in the hope of making it then and have a chance… But why opt for the 50 free instead of the 200 if it just medals that count? Anything can happen in the 50 – in the 200 it is a tough one but it is not down to chance as much.

Craig Lord

@jon – in general both swimmer and coach said the 200 would remain a race she would do on lesser occasions and was part of her prep; Sarah also said that she is leaving the door open but both she and coach noted that even in Rio, the 200 falls before the 50 and 100 free, in which she would face different opposition mainly going in ‘fresh’… Rio prog ‘not fixed’ so far out … so not ruled out but not ruled in either …


There is also the funding game that is typically present in pretty much every national swimming federation once you get below about the top five nations. If the Swedish swim federation is like most others in that tier, being able to go to their sports ministry/national umbrella Olympic committee and say ‘we have qualified three women’s relays for the Rio Olympics and need to provide stipends so those ladies can train their fullest for Brazil’ will indeed get the swim federation better funding for the next year or two compared to ‘we didn’t bother to send relay squads to the blocks because we estimated they’d be 5th, 7th, and 7th in the world this year’ like some here seem to suggest that Sweden do.

Craig Lord

Yes, good point, beachmouse… also, not a bad thing for nations to put in their best teams and provide a good race in relays across the pool, otherwise, on the basis of ‘no chance’ , we might as well reduce big-time relay finals to fastest four only … but then that would force some big nations to field their best in heats, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing that happen 🙂


Roy Jeaneatte Ottesen Is NOT out of Kazan…… She is training every day thus Denmark still has a great shout at the medley relay


And Jeaneatte Ottesen surprisingly also JUST swam heats in 50 Butterfly at Danish championsship in26,20

So shes just fine

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