World Championships, Day 7 Finals: Sarah Sjostrom Storms to Sixth Straight Title in 50 Butterfly With No. 3 Time in History


World Championships, Day 7 Finals: Sarah Sjostrom Storms to Sixth Straight Title in 50 Butterfly

If any event at the World Championships in Doha offered a foregone conclusion, it was the women’s 50-meter butterfly. The discipline has been the dominant domain of Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom for the past decade, and the future Hall of Famer added to her legacy on Saturday night at the Aspire Dome.

Covering her one lap of butterfly in 24.63, Sjostrom blew away the field. She registered a .81 margin over silver medalist Melanie Henique (25.44) of France, with the bronze medal going to Egypt’s Farida Osman in 25.67. More, the performance handed Sjostrom her sixth consecutive title in the event, that run beginning at the 2015 edition of the World Championships in Kazan. Sjostrom also upped her career total of medal at the World Champs to 23, with all but one arriving in individual competition.

The only woman in history to crack the 25-second barrier in the 50 butterfly, Sjostrom delivered the third-fastest time of her career. Only her world record of 24.43 (2014) and her No. 2 time of 24.60 (2017) have been faster.

The 50 butterfly was the first of two events during the session for Sjostrom, who had the semifinals of the 50 freestyle later in the evening. Sjostrom is also the defending world titlist in the 50 free and will get the chance to retain that crown when action in Doha concludes on Sunday.

Clearly, Sjostrom is in fine form on the road to this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, where she will undoubtedly be the favorite for gold in the 50 freestyle. However, with the 50 butterfly not part of the Olympic program, Sjostrom will likely contest the 100 butterfly as a second solo event. She recently told home media that the 100 freestyle was unlikely to be part of her Paris program.

Henique was eighth in the event last summer in Fukuoka while Osman garnered her third bronze medal in the event at the World Champs, complementing podium finishes in 2017 and 2019.

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