Swimming World Olympic Predictions: Women’s 50 Free

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya


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By Taylor Brien

Cate Campbell, 24, is the favorite for Olympic gold in both the 50 free and 100 free in Rio. Not only does she come into Rio with a one-month-old world record in the 100, but she also has the fastest time in the world this year in the 50 at 23.84.

However, the gold medal in the 50 won’t come easy for Cate, as younger sister, Bronte, 22, is the reigning world champ, clocking 24.12 last summer in Kazan. And Ranomi Kromowidjojo—the reigning Olympic champion—who finished second to Bronte at Worlds (24.22), already has a 24.07 to her credit from May’s European Championships.

Add in Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (bronze at last year’s Worlds in 24.31, and a 24.17 in January), Great Britain’s Francesca Halsall (24.21), and the USA’s Abbey Weitzeil (24.28) and Simone Manuel (24.33), and the 50 free quickly becomes anybody’s race.


  • Does Bronte Campbell have a shot at knocking off her sister in this one?
  • Is the 50 a more likely medal possibility than the 100 for young Americans Weitzeil and Manuel?
  • Could anyone approach Britta Steffen’s suit-aided world record? Cate Campbell has been the closest, and she already took down the world record in the 100 just last month.

Gold: Cate Campbell, Australia
Silver: Bronte Campbell, Australia
Bronze: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands

Check out our previews for every swimming event at the Olympic Games by downloading our Rio Preview Issue.

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7 years ago

This will be one thrilling, exciting race.

It will easily be the best women’s 50 free field ever.

7 years ago

C1 has to be seen as a very strong favourite but 50’s will always have an element of a crapshoot about them. If she is going to be “rolled”, it is here rather than the 100 (should she remain fit & healthy throughout). Her height disadvantages her start and this is more telling in the one-lapper.

I see Kromowidjojo as the biggest threat as she looks to be in her best form since London. If she nails her race, then we most certainly may have an upset on our hands

Sjostrom has to be a threat given her sub24 capacity ditto Halsall.

Whilst I can see C2 medalling in the 100, I’m sceptical that she can medal in this one. Were she fit & healthy, then I would be far more “bullish” but her 2016 has been illness/injury interrupted. She’s a tough & proven big meet performer and she should be competitive (esp in the 100) but not sure she’ll be in PB shape.

Can’t really seeing anyone else in the medal picture unless one or more of the above are severely off-form or beset by illness/injury

7 years ago

Abbey Weitzel will surprise a lot of people in Rio. Go Bears!

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