Aiming for Third Straight World Title, Sarah Sjostrom Easily Tops 50 Fly Heats

sarah-sjostrom-
Swedish ace Sarah Sjostrom. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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World Swimming Championships (Sarah Sjostrom) Sarah Sjostrom

Gwangju 2019

Day Six Heats

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom looks poised to go after a third straight world title in the women’s 50 fly after she easily recorded the top time in the qualifying round at 25.39, just off her No. 1-ranked time for 2019, 25.32. Sjostrom will swim the 100 free final in Friday evening’s session, in which she currently holds the top seed. After Sjostrom battles the likes of Cate Campbell for 100 free gold, she will turn her attention to the 50 fly semis.

Finishing second behind Sjostrom was the only United States entrant, Kelsi Dahlia, in 25.70, and Egypt’s Farida Osman claimed third in 25.71. Osman was the 50 fly bronze medalist two years ago in Budapest. Also slipping under 26 were Canada’s Penny Oleksiak (25.73), 2017 Worlds silver medalist Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands (25.86) and Sweden’s Louise Hansson (25.97).

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen qualified ninth in 26.09 as the 31-year-old returned to competition for the first time since giving birth to her first child. Meanwhile, Canada’s Maggie MacNeil, four days after winning a shocking gold medal in the 100 fly, qualified tied for 11th with China’s Zhang Yufei and Australia’s Brianna Throssell. Throssell was among the participants on Australia’s world record-breaking 4×200 free relay Thursday evening.

Russia’s Anna Surkova and Denmark’s Emilie Beckmann tied for 16th in 26.32, setting up a swim-off to determine the last spot in the semifinals. Surkova ended up edging out Beckmann in the swim-off, 26.14 to 26.24.

Semifinalists:

1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 25.39
2. Kelsi Dahlia (USA), 25.70
3. Farida Osman (EGY), 25.71
4. Penny Oleksiak (CAN0, 25.73
5. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 25.86
6. Louise Hansson (SWE), 25.97
7. Elena di Liddo (ITA), 26.03
8. Marie Wattel (FRA), 26.07
9. Jeanette Ottesen (DEN), 26.09
10. Wang Yichun (CHN), 26.13
11. Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 26.14
11. Zhang Yufei (CHN), 26.14
11. Brianna Throssell (AUS), 26.14
14. Kimberly Buys (BEL), 26.23
15. Anna Ntountounaki (GRE), 26.26
16. Anna Surkova (RUS), 26.32

Read more about the FINA World Swimming Championships.