World Championships, Day 8 Finals: Sarah Sjostrom Registers Three-Peat in 50 Freestyle With Fourth-Fastest Time Ever


World Championships, Day 8 Finals: Sarah Sjostrom Registers Three-Peat in 50 Freestyle With Fourth-Fastest Time Ever

Make it four world titles – and three in a row – in the 50-meter freestyle for sprinting legend Sarah Sjostrom.

On the final night of the World Championships in Doha, Sjostrom reaffirmed her status as the sport’s premier sprinter by claiming a fourth gold medal in the one-lap dash. Sjostrom captured her first crown in the 50 freestyle at the 2017 edition of Worlds, and has now won three consecutive titles (2022-24)

This latest triumph, as was the case last summer in Fukuoka, was another no-doubt-about-it performance. The 30-year-old Sjostrom rocketed to a time of 23.69, handing her a margin of victory of .22 over silver medalist Kate Douglass of the United States. The bronze medal was claimed by Poland’s Kasia Wasick, who touched the wall in 23.95. Douglass’ swim was good for an American record.

Sjostrom’s time equaled for the fourth-fastest in history, and she now owns the five-fastest marks of all-time.

The way Sjostrom performed in her first individual final of the meet suggested a big effort was in development for the 50 freestyle. On Saturday night, the Swede blasted the field in the 50 butterfly, her winning time of 24.63 good for the No. 3 outing in history. Given that she was carrying significant speed, why wouldn’t she pop a spectacular time over one lap of freestyle.

Indeed, that scenario unfolded.

The world-record holder in the freestyle at 23.61, Sjostrom has made sub-24 performances seem easy. She was under that threshold in each of her three races in Doha and she now owns 24 medals at the World Champs. Of that total, all but one have come in individual events.

Sjostrom heads into the push for the Olympic Games in Paris as the overwhelming favorite for gold in the 50 freestyle. The only question is what the remainder of her schedule will look like. Sjostrom has indicated she will contest the 100 butterfly in the French capital, but is leaning toward not racing the 100 freestyle.

Douglass’ American record capped an excellent for the Team USA veteran. Douglass already had won gold in the 200 individual medley and silver in the 200 breaststroke. Her time in the 50 freestyle took down the former standard of Simone Manuel, who clocked 23.97 at the 2017 World Champs.


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