Speed From Sarah Sjöström; Hansson Sisters Muscle In On Record-Breaking Action

Michelle Coleman, Louise Hansson, Sarah Sjostrom and Magdalena Kuras (l-r) took gold in the 4x100m Freestyle at 2014 European Championships in Berlin - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Records are tumbling at the Swedish short-course nationals in Helsingborg: for once it isn’t Sarah Sjöström leading the assault on standards, though speed she is certainly generating, including a 23.22 50 free relay split at one end of the spectrum and a 4:05 win in the 400m freestyle; Sisters Louise and Sophie Hansson in record-breaking form

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Records are tumbling at the Swedish short-course nationals in Helsingborg: for once it isn’t Sarah Sjöström leading the assault on standards, though speed she is certainly generating, including a 23.22 50 free relay split at one end of the spectrum and a 4:05 win in the 400m freestyle; Sisters Louise and Sophie Hansson in record-breaking form



Another set of sisters of speed is emerging from the other side of the word!


Wow that was some fast swimming. Super 200 Medley time. Cracker of a relay split 23.2. I am not sure but that must be the fastest womans split in a textile suit. (MV was like 22.9 or 8 if i am not mistaken)

Totally unrelated, but will be written about tonight. Zsusanna J is really starting to make an impression on the world stage again. Seems she has recovered nicely.


Sjostrom and Ledecky are the most versatile swimmers in the world now. Sarah’s repertoire ranges from 50 to 400 and Katie’s from 200 to 1500. As much as Ledecky is no match to Sjostrom at 100m there is no real competition between them at 400m. It is interesting what distance is the equilibrium point where their powers meet each other: 180m? 235m? 300m?



Katinka Hosszu says hi!

John Svensson

The Hanssons are really coming along. Louise looking like she’s ready to take the next step in the freestyles/medley, great news for the relay teams. Eventually she’ll be a threat individually too, I think mainly at 200 free/200 medley. She’s got like four or five PBs with half of the competition to go. Sophie obviously took two world junior silvers in the summer, and she looks like a potential Olympics semifinal swimmer to me already. Biggest talent since Sarah I’d say.

Sarah has not had any sprint training yet on the short course, she will swim the euros later on so that’s where she’ll be topped. I
expect her to dominate there. She’s alright here too, false started in the 50 free though lol.


@aswimfan: I am flattered by being noticed by KH 🙂
You and I have definitely different understanding of word “versatile” when it’s been applied to swimming competition. If you want to know the most versatile person in the world, then that is me. I can swim any stroke, I can swim backwards, I can walk in the water, I can walk in the water upside down, and I can swim with fins, in tech suites or without any 🙂
Swimming competition is about human ability to move fast in the water no matter how. From this basic point of view Sjostrom and Ledecky who can be at world champion level at significantly different distances are the most versatile swimmers. KH is only visible when the level of competition is significantly below an elite level. Whenever you think that IM swimmer is the best example of versatility then return back to my example. Believe me I am better 🙂 Do you really think that decathlon champion is the most versatile athlete in the world? What if Usain Bolt beats everybody at a half mile distance? Will you call it super versatility or just craziness? So we are probably on different pages with understanding of this word. But anyway thank you for forwarding me the KH’s “hi”.



KH is world’s top 10 in 8 individual events.

Get back to me when Sjostrom and Ledecky approach those numbers.


By the way, I am not saying Sjostrom or Ledecky is less versatile.


Well I am, Ledecky is a distance machine is so fit and so tough very much in the Hackett mould that she can win the 200 at the elite level. She would not threaten the worlds best over 50 & 100 like Park did so Hosszu is far more versatile. Ledecky gets to race in freestyle distances up to 1500. If you gave Hosszu an 800im she would win that. She is within a bodylength of world number 1 in every 200 except breaststroke. Have to disagree with you Yozhnik. Worlds best middle to long distance freestyler is not worlds most versatile swimmer. If Sun had happened to accomplish the 200-1500 feat would you have called him the worlds most versatile swimmer over Phelps? Lochte, Hagino, Seto, Le Clos…


To felix and aswimfan. It is all a matter of taste. There is no base for dispute. For me the competition in different strokes in swimming are like clubs. I have same feeling toward the likes of hurdles, triple jump, steeplechase, decathlon etc. Something that maybe fun to watch and even to participate, but it is a deviation from the basic core – to run fast, to run long.
Whenever my children returned from the meet with 10th place ribbon I put it in the big box in the basement calling them a “participant” award. Maybe I am too demanding. Being 10th (not all time) during the season is not much for me.


Great swims for the Hansson sisters – Louise could really consolidate their 4x100MR if she can deliver on freestyle next summer.

Katinka Hosszu is the most versatile swimmer in the world right now, I don’t see how it can really be debated. Having said that, Sarah Sjoestroem is extremely versatile, I suspect she could match Hosszu with number of events she would make the top 10 in if she was bothered to compete.

Free: 50, 100, 200.
Fly: 50, 100, 200.

You have to say all those above should be a given for Sjoestroem. After that, you can look are her backstroke, 400 free and IM and say it wouldn’t be a surprise if she made the top 10 in any of those strokes.

Ledecky is a freestyle machine, but versatile? hmm.

Just to throw my British hat in there with an honourable mention for SMOC who people tend to forget, but she goes well in all four strokes.

100/200 free: 53s & 1.55s
100 Fly: 57s
200IM: 2.08s
100Breast: 1.06s relay split in Kazan.

Never really raced backstroke competitively but is consistently 32s on backstroke in her IMs. I’d like to see her have a real crack at a few 50s one day too, she has some good raw numbers for sprints.


Roy, we got so accustomed to what SY and KL do then don’t even make an efforts to think how versatile the human abilities should be to swim like they do. It is so unnatural. Try it yourself to figure out how fast will you go out of breath or how slow you are despite of any efforts and short distance.
I mentioned SY assuming that whatever he achieved was done in clean way. To come to the common base we have to say for instance: KH is the most stroke versatile swimmer (needs to be verified). SJostrom and Ledecky are the most swimming abilities versatile. I hope my usage of English words doesn’t make my statement confusing. If it does then disregard my comments. I cannot make it more neat.

Craig Lord

Felix, all of those arguments can be applied to Ender, Otto and Smith, to Caulkins, Klochkova (all people with Olympic gold and several Olympic medals to their names, one way or another) and many others down the thread of history in the context of their time: each has a different reason why it was all possible. “Most versatile” is not quite right for any of them, for different reasons. Michael Phelps is a very rare exception beyond, for example.


BTW, Ledecky will swim 8 events in a week. Quite a feat. It will be interesting to see where she stands with her sprint and 400IM. Her best time at 100m is almost one year old.



Are you sure Ledecky will swim 8 events, and those are not just entry times?

AFAIK, many US swimmers love putting their names in the entry list, but they don’t really swim all events they put their names on. They even only swim the prelims, which is not OK in my opinion, but US top swimmers do that very often.


Aswimfan, look at psych sheet. What actually will be swum I don’t know. There are unusual for her events like 50fs and 200 im, but all others she does swim on regular basis at such meets.

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