Sarah Sjostrom Leaves Naples After Two ISL Matches; Will Return for Playoffs

Sarah Sjostrom (photo: Mike Lewis)
Sarah Sjostrom -- Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis / ISL

Sarah Sjostrom Leaves Naples After Two ISL Matches; Will Return for Playoffs

After competing in Energy Standard’s first two matches of the 2021 ISL regular season in Naples, Italy, superstar Sarah Sjostrom has returned home to Sweden and will miss the remainder of the ISL regular season. Sjostrom fractured her elbow after slipping on ice earlier this year and only returned to racing in June, and according to a post on Instagram, she and her team decided she would be better off spending more time training and rehabbing that injury rather than remaining in Naples through Energy Standard’s final two matches.

Sjostrom was the MVP of Match #1 as she won the 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly and 50 freestyle skins and finished second in the 100 freestyle. In Match #3 this week, Sjostrom set the ISL record in the 50 free with her 23.17 and again finished second in the 100 free, first in the 50 fly and first in freestyle skins. She did, however, finish one-half of a point behind Energy teammate Siobhan Haughey as the match MVP.

Energy Standard has comfortably won its two matches so far, and the team was the 2019 league champion and 2020 runner-up, so the remaining swimmers should have no trouble advancing to November’s ISL playoffs in Eindhoven. The top six teams from the regular season will automatically qualify, and even without Sjostrom, it would be stuning if Energy is not among them.

It has not been the perfect year for Sjostrom, who turned 28 last month. After winning three medals, one of each color, at the 2016 Olympics and holding world records in the long course 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly, she managed to win only one medal in Tokyo, a silver in the 50 free, as her injury cost her too much training time to allow her to seriously contend in the 100-meter events. However, with a few more months of training, expect that Sjostrom will be in good shape and ready to rock when she returns to the ISL circuit in November.