Sarah Sjostrom Ties Championship Record in 100 Free Semis; Pernille Blume Misses Final

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom tied her own championship record from 2014 in the women’s 100 free semi-finals, touching at 52.67. She improved to fourth in the world rankings behind the trio of Bronte CampbellCate Campbell and Simone Manuel.

Sjostrom finished almost seven tenths ahead of the field, with the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk qualifying second in 53.35. France’s Charlotte Bonnet, the 200 free European champion, qualified third in 53.55.

Russia’s Mariia Kameneva (53.60), Great Britain’s Freya Anderson (53.90), France’s Marie Wattel (54.12), Denmark’s Signe Bro (54.27) and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini (54.28) also made the final. Pellegrini, the World Champion and world record-holder in the 200 free, skipped her signature event, meaning this will be her lone individual final of the week.

Denmark’s Pernille Blume, ranked No. 5 in the world at 52.72 after winning bronze in the event at last year’s World Championships, shockingly missed the final. Blume split 23.98 for the first 50 meters, but she inexplicably touched the wall instead of flipping. She tried to keep up with the field on the second 50 but could not, and she ended up finishing 10th in 54.74.