Sarah Sjostrom Makes History as International Swimming League’s First Winner (VIDEO)

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Sarah Sjostrom competes in the 100 butterfly at the ISL. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Making history is something Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom does well, and she’s doing it again this weekend.

Not only has Sjostrom been pushing for the International Swimming League (ISL) to happen for a while now, she was the first individual event winner in league history. Though she got her hand to the wall first in the women’s 100 fly with a time of 55.65, just ahead of Kelsi Dahlia, she says it was not an easy race.

“It’s quite early in the season still so I haven’t done the work to be in my best shape, so it was hurting,” said Sjostrom. “I really had to push every stroke and every turn was so hard. This is the first competition since world champs.”

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FIRST DAY RECAP

Sjostrom is back in Indianapolis for the second time in only four months for the meet this weekend at IU Natatorium. She joins Chad de Clos and other world-class swimmers on team Energy Standard, which is lead by coach James Gibson.

When it comes to team camaraderie, Sjostrom says this meet is unlike any other she’s competed in.

“It was so much fun to follow the points for the team,” said Sjostrom. “Usually when I go to a competition I look at my time and then I move on to my next event, but, now, between my events I was trying to follow all my teammates, how they were doing and where Energy Standard was on with points.”

As she looks forward to an Olympic year, Sjostrom feels the ISL meets will be beneficial her as there aren’t competitions like this in Europe. Also, after following college competitions in the United States, she is excited to experience something similar.

“I mean I follow some of the results from the U.S. college competitions and it always looks like they’re having a lot of fun racing in a team event,” Sarah Sjostrom said. “It’s great to be a part of something like this now and have a team competition because we don’t have something like that in Europe. It’s very exciting to be a part of this.”

The Swedish star also won the 50 free with a time of 23.58, notably the only swimmer under 24. For the 400 free relay she teamed up with Femke Heemskerk, Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez to win the event with a time of 3:28.63. Sjostrom split a 51.61.

Looking forward to Day 2, the 100 free, 400 medley relay, 50 fly and 400 mixed free relay are all on the meet lineup, giving the versatile Sarah Sjostrom several choices.

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