World Championships: Sarah Sjostrom Chases History For Fourth 50m Butterfly Crown; Zhang Yufei The Fastest Qualifier

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CHASING HISTORY: Sarah Sjostrom chasing a slice of swimming history in the 50m butterfly. Photo Courtesy Peter H Bick.

World Championships: Sarah Sjostrom Chases History For Fourth 50m Butterfly Crown; Zhang Yufei The Fastest Qualifier

Swedish super swimmer Sarah Sjostrom will be chasing a record fourth consecutive 50m butterfly world crown in Budapest after comfortably  qualifying for tonight’s semi-finals with her winning heat time of 25.43 at the Duna Arena today.

The 28-year-old has won the title in 2015 in Kazan, 2017 in Budapest and 2019 in Gwangju, returning to the Hungarian capital in search of a history making fourth title.

The Rio Olympic champion in the 100m butterfly and an eight-time world champion Sjostrom recovered from a broken hand to race at her third Olympics in Tokyo, winning silver behind Australia’s Emma McKeon in the 50m freestyle.

The world record holder since 2014 was an impressive winner of the final heat ahead of the Netherlands’ Maaike de Waard (25.92) and Italy’s Silvia de Pietro (26.08).

But it was the second of the seeded heats where the fastest qualifier came from with a convincing win to Tokyo Olympic 200m butterfly gold medallist China’s Zhang Yufei in 25.39 ahead of Melanie Henique (France) 25.61 – third fastest overall and Sara Junevik (Sweden) 25.94 – the sixth fastest.

It was Claire Curzan (USA) who won the first of the three seeded heats in 25.93 – making her the fifth fastest through to the semi-finals.

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