Energy Standard Pulls Plug On Program During Corona Crunch As Sjöström & Co Get Set For ‘Stockholm Closed’

Sarah Sjostrom - Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The international and development Energy Standard program in Turkey has been suspended in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and all squad members have returned home to their respective countries.

Head coach James Gibson told Swimming World that all club activities were suspended on the day the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed: “Now we follow and respect the advise of the local governments.”

The Energy squad includes swimmers from many countries, including Olympic champions Sarah Sjöström, of Sweden, Florent Manaudou, of France, and Chad Le Clos, of South Africa, as well as World champions Ben Proud, of Britain, Evgeny Rylov, of Russia, and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine.

“Everyone is at home. 95% have no access to sports facilities,” Gibson noted, confirming that the coaches speak to the swimmers “most days and like everyone else do what we can do”.

The picture is slightly different for all and this weekend Sjöström and Sweden teamates will race in time trials at the “Stockholm Closed”, the new fun name for the cancelled Stockholm Open that would have served as an Olympic qualifier, in common with cancellations and postponements that have dominated the seascape this coronavirus season, forcing a rethink reset among coaches and athletes.

The event is subject to the changes to lockdown measures but looks safe for now, although the Swedish Government is coming under increasing pressure to make to what have been more relaxed containment measures in the country.

Sweden has reported 66 deaths so far, from a base of 2,806 infections, a much higher rate of mortality compared to Germany.

Everyone in Sweden has now been urged to stay at home if they are at all sick (even a mild cough or sore throat), avoid non-essential travel within the country, work from home if possible, and avoid non-essential visits to elderly people or hospitals. Restaurants, bars, cafés and nightclubs have been told to offer seated table service only.

Media outlets in Sweden today are reporting a sharp shift in the curve of infections, after state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said at the Public Health Agency’s daily briefing just after lunchtime in Stockholm, the capital city which account for 1,216 confirmed cases and 42 deaths, mainly among the over-70s.

Tegnell said there were no imminent plans to put Stockholm under lockdown.