1996 Olympic silver medalist Jani Sievinen made a winning return to international competition after a disastrous Olympic Games. The Finn took three months off after the Olympics where he settled for the silver medal in the 200m IM, the event he had been expected to win. Sievinen also failed to qualify for the 400 IM final; he was expected to give the eventual gold medalist Tom Dolan a run for his money.
In Espoo, Finland, Sievinen won the 100 and 400 individual medley events by vast margins on the first day of the two-day Espoo meeting, the 3rd stop in the eight-venue World Cup.
The Finn clocked 4:16.43 in the 400 IM and 54.98 in the 100 IM; en route to burying the competition. Sievinen still hopes to become the first Finn to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming at the 2000 Games in Sydney. He has also signed a huge sponsorship deal in Espoo with four Finnish companies who are supporting his ambition.
The Espoo event will be Sievinen’s only appearance in the World Cup. He’s concentrating his training this year on the European Championships this summer.