World Championships: Sarah Sjostrom Claims Second World Crown In 50 Free & Fourth Straight Medal; Wasick Makes Polish History

SJOSTROM Sarah SWE celebrating Gold Medal 50m Freestyle Men Final Swimming FINA 19th World Championships Budapest 2022 Budapest, Duna Arena 25/06/22 Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Sarah Sjostrom: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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World Championships: Sarah Sjostrom Claims Second World Crown In 50 Free & Fourth Straight Medal; Wasick Makes Polish History

Sarah Sjostrom won the 50 freestyle for the second time as she reinforced her position as the most decorated woman in terms of individual World Championship medals.

The Swede won in 23.98 to claim her 19th individual medal and 20th in total thanks to silver in the women’s 4x100m medley relay at Kazan 2015.

As a result, the 28-year-old moved to within one of Michael Phelps at the helm of individual medal counts and will surely surpass the American next year in Fukuoka.

It was her fourth straight medal in the event and came 24 hours after she won the 50 fly for the fourth consecutive time.

Katarzyna Wasick became the first Polish woman to win a medal in the one-length event after stopping the clock at 24.18 with Meg Harris and Erika Brown tying for third in 24.38.

Sjostrom won her first world title at Rome 2009 and has 19 solo medals among a 20-strong total while Phelps finished his career with 20 in an overall tally of 33, including 13 relay medals.

That came a year after she became European 100 butterfly champion aged 14 in Eindhoven, meaning she has been at the top table for half her life.

She wasn’t alone in being a medal winner on a Sweden team populated by the likes of Therese Alshammar, herself a former 50 free champion at Shanghai 2011 and a six-time Olympian and whose partner Johan Wallberg is Sjostrom’s coach.

She said:

“I think I need a lot of time to reflect and understand how it has been possible to do that.

“I think something that really helped me when I was a younger swimmer was that even if I was winning European champs, world champs, I was not the main star of the team.

“We had still had some older swimmers on the team that took more of the attention.

“I think that was really good for me: I think it would have been harder if I was the main star from an early age.

“So I think Therese, Stefan Nystrand, Lars Frolander – they were the big stars when I came into the national team, even if I won medals.

“I think that was very important: I think the team around me really protected me so that’s why I’ve been able to continue. It’s a team effort so I am not going to take all the credit myself.”

sarah-sjostrom-50-free-2022-world-championships-budapest

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Sjostrom left Budapest with gold in the 50 free and 50 fly plus silver in the 100 free, the one-length races suiting the four-time Olympic medallist.

“I enjoy the training for the 50s. I could actually keep racing a lot of events, I feel like I’m physically still strong enough to do that but it’s just the process around the races – preparing for the race, everything after the race, all of this – doping control, media attention, the bus, in and out of the pool – the process around, that is the part that takes the most amount of energy for me.

“That is why I enjoy just doing three individual events because I feel I can give everything and I can really enjoy the success.

“Otherwise when I do too much you feel like it’s so hard to enjoy every race because I feel like I need to start preparing for the next one all the time.

“So this was a perfect schedule for me.”

So too was her time cause for satisfaction.

“It feels amazing. Every time I put my hand on the wall first, it means a lot to me.

“What can I say? It’s amazing. Three medals, it’s been a busy four days for me so I am super-happy that I’ve been able to do my fastest race in the final every time.

“Every race I’ve done it’s been fastest in the final which I am very proud of.”

sarah-sjostrom-50-fly-2022-world-championships-budapest-1

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Wasick claimed her first medal in global long-course waters at the age of 30, a little over a year after joint second with Rio 2016 champion Pernille Blume and behind Ranomi Kromowidjojo at the Europeans in the very same Duna Arena.

She said:

“It’s been a great final, I knew anything could happen. I was simply excited to be in the finals because moments like this maybe never come back.

“I’m just trying to enjoy this moment and cherish this whole thing.”

Harris left Hungary with four medals although her joint bronze in the 50 was her sole individual honour.

The Australian said:

“I had a massive swim in the semi-final, that was a personal best for me so once I got to the final I thought whatever happened with me, it’d be a bonus.

“This is my first international event where I swim individual races, not just relays, and swimming with these great athletes in this final means a lot for me since they are the best in the world.”

So too for Brown whose dash medal was the only individual of the five she claimed at the meet.

“My goal was to come here and win a medal for USA, and to be able to do that against the best of the world is simply amazing.”

 

 

 

2022-06-25 (3)

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Sharon Robb
1 month ago

I thought it was her 20th medal?

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