Swimming World Performance of the Week: Sarah Sjostrom’s 200 Free (With Video)

Sarah Sjostrom
Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Sarah Sjostrom continues to improve by leaps and bounds in the 200 freestyle, and that was evident at the Bergen Swim Festival in Norway as the Swede nearly became the fastest woman in the event halfway through 2015.

Sjostrom, the former world record holder in the 100 fly and current 50 fly record holder, is diversifying her world championship schedule, and now can add the 200 free as a legitimate event for a medal. She posted a 1:54.77 in the 200 free in Bergen, a drop of half a second in her lifetime best. While Sjostrom has been swimming the 200 free for many years, and doing well at it internationally, the world hasn’t put much weight on her medal chances in the event.

Sarah Sjostrom’s 200 free in Bergen (the race begins at 2:24)

She was fourth in the 200 free at the 2013 world championships in a bit of a surprise. Even though her best time would have won a medal, many still saw her as the exuberant 15-year-old who stunned with a world record in the 100 fly at the 2009 world championships. Sjostrom, now 21 years old, is growing into an accomplished freestyler with a silver medal in the 100 free at the 2013 worlds on her mantle. The 200 freestyle will be a very tough event with four or five athletes capable of all swimming in the 1:54 range.

Before last weekend, many would not have counted Sjostrom as one of those who could go under 1:55, but she can’t be ignored any longer. Congratulations, Sarah Sjostrom, on earning the Swimming World Performance of the Week!


  1. Niles Keeran

    Meter or Yards, Swimming World!

  2. avatar

    I have been counting with her since EC last year. There she swam the third leg in the relay (1:53,64). Even if I add a whole second it is still in the 1:54 range.
    And she is the SCM world record holder of this event.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Having the short course meters world record goes a long way, but a few others who have short course meters world records have yet to show the same speed in long course. Sjostrom’s swim last weekend really moved her forward in being a title contender this summer in the 200 free.

  3. avatar
    Eric Lahmy

    Last year, Sarah Sjöström swam at Berlin, European championships, a 200 meters in the swedish relay two seconds faster than Pellegrini, winner of the individual race, in 1’53”64! It cannot be said that until last week she was not known as a possible contender in 200 meters. Because she was perhaps the most serious contender in 200 meters! The only problem is she has a big and complicated programme in Kazan and she perhaps has not yet decided to swim this event.

  4. avatar
    David Booey

    I feel as if everyone forgets about Ms. Schmitt from America, 1:53:61 in 2012! 3 years ago and shes still faster than the two in the world by over a second!

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Yes, David, she did go 1:53 at the 2012 Olympics. She’s struggled since then, but we’ll see how she does at the Pan American Games.