• Sweden's news in English

Sjöström swims to title in world record time

AFP/The Local · 28 Jul 2009, 07:11

Published: 28 Jul 2009 07:11 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 15-year-old broke the world record of 56.44 she had set in Sunday's semi-finals.

Australian Jessicah Schipper was second in 56.23 and China's Jiao Liuyang was third in 56.86.

With her semi-final swim, Sjöström had eclipsed the nine-year-old world record set by Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands on September 17, 2000 at the Sydney Olympics.

De Bruijn's mark was one of only two women's records still on the books that dated back to before 2006.

"I'm so happy, I can't believe what's happened, it's going to take a few days for this to sink in and realize what I've actually done," said Sjöström, who has slashed two seconds off her personal best in the last two days.

"It's awesome. I can't understand what's happened, it's completely crazy and I'm really happy."

Sjöström’s performance on Sunday was the first of what has already become an avalanche of world records at the 2009 World Championships, the last world meet before the latest generation of high-tech swimsuits is banned in 2010.

Regardless of suits, this has been a meteoric rise for the 15-year-old who only two years ago considered quitting the sport.

Back then her best time was around 1min 02sec, a long way off the time she achieved here in Rome.

"When I was 13 I started to think it was a little boring but then I started to get huge improvements in my times when racing and it became more fun, so I decided to carry on," she added.

Schipper was delighted with her finish and her time, having shaved 0.7sec off her personal best.

Story continues below…

"It's utterly amazing to be here and to be a part of this and see the old world record that stood for years be absolutely annihilated by most of the people in the race and for Sarah to be fastest is just amazing," said the 22-year-old.

"It was such a fast swim and very exciting to be a part of that. It's very inspiring, especially because Sarah's so young.

"She's got a long way to go and a lot of improving to do with age. I'm looking forward to racing her over the next couple of years, it's going to be good."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:14 July 28, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Her world record should be erased as she got her time through cheating!

Ok it sounds like they were ALL cheating, so congratulations to Sarah for being the fastest best cheat

I don't want to detract from her world title as she was clearly the best when it matted, but she and probably all other competitors were wearing a super-fast suit made of buoyant polyurethane.

It is a complete joke that FINA never banned the swimsuit before the championships. It was well known the advantage that this super-fast suit and they have banned if from next year.

It is expected that the suit will result in most world records falling and the FINA decision is that the records will stand. http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/swimmi...8457705775.html

So don't expected world records to be set in the pool in the London Olympics.

German Paul Biedermann who set the 400m WR yesterday says he thinks it gave him a 2 second boost to his time http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/swimmi...8546678468.html
09:09 July 28, 2009 by jack sprat
Interesting debate RH.

I recently read about the UK female swimmer who was expected to get a gold a few days back but opted not to wear this suit as she considered it cheating and she was quite happy to win a bronze instead by what she considered was fair means.

There has been a big debate about the medals won by Phelps and one of the female competitors in the last Olympics whilst wearing the best of these suits that were available then.

It has caused quite a lot of concern amongst the Olympic committee who seem to agree that the suits gave a very clear and unfair advantage to those wearing them.

Whilst there is no doubt that those using them to win golds were great competitors(not sure about sportsmen),without doubt their medal haul would have been less without them,some events having been decided by the very narrowest of margins.

Whether or not their World records should be allowed to stand is another very contentious issue as future competitors will be at a distinct and unfair disadvantage should they attempt to break these records.
09:31 July 28, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
The strange thing I find is that I'm sure that I read a while back, probably at the time of the last olympics when they discussed the other suit, that the swimsuits must not aid buoyancy. The "old" hight tech suits I believe made the swimmers more hydrodynamicly efficient making them faster, whilst these new suits aid bouyancy which I thought was illegal

Clearly FINA finds them legally "challenging" otherwise they would not have banned them from next year.

Being an Aussie I like watching swimming competitions and part of the fun is seeing the setting of world records. If this suit has killed off the chances of WR's in 2012 I probably wont be so enthusiastic about watching it, especially if I am back in Aus dealing with the time zone then.

I think your English girl was a bit silly to not wear the new swimsuit. If everyone but her was wearing it and she won, whilst any WR would be dubious, the world champion title is perfectly valid.

I believe most Aussies chose country (medals) over team sponsor and switched suits. I think this was the right thing to do, but FINA are still idiots.
09:48 July 28, 2009 by Eye_Witness
Thanks Sjöström, congrats to Sweden, congrats to everyone who feels elevated at this time. I am so happy for this achievement.
10:11 July 28, 2009 by jeffi lost her first one
Sure, RH. her 30 hours a week training had NOTHING to do with it at all. her drive to stick with what has to be one of the toughest sports going was a non-factor.

Got news for you... if everyone is wearing the same generation suit, then the playing field is, get this... even. Amazing, isn't it.

Know what my profession is? Swim coach. That level. What she did was earned, and earned the good old fashioned way, by hard work, talent, good coaching and dedication.

Well done young lady, well done.
10:46 July 28, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Jeffi you idiot, did you only read the first word of what I wrote?
11:14 July 28, 2009 by Plowbridge H. Broad
Renfeh's points are well said on a day where 5 WR's were surpassed.

Sjöström did a fantastic job and should be congratulated but not lauded as the achievement is tainted. I know that "little Sweden" need heroes but to glorify Sjöström in the way it is doing smacks of desperation and ignorance. Presumably winning something with steroids would be also be ok if there is a loop-hole in the law.

I suppose Sweden will now vote her sports person of the year to follow the useless Charlotte Kallas whose only achievement was to win a minor cross country ski race against a non quality field.
12:15 July 28, 2009 by jeffi lost her first one
FINA has new suit standards coming in. However, if everyone can, and generally does, wear the same gear at any given point, then what a WR boils down to is (a) Training (b) Talent and (c) Desire.

RH, you really need to work on writing posts without stooping to insults of any dubious sort.

See, the suit may have broken old rules, but so did the generation prior and the one prior to that. Suit manufacturers are in no way to blame for this. FINA sat back and let it happen. But at a point where all the swimmers who choose to are wearing $600 *USD) suits, then there is no "cheating".
15:10 July 28, 2009 by slickscott
Look, wait till London and see if she stands on the world stage. These world championships mean nothing. But it is true that if all competitors are donning these suits then neither has an unfair advantage over the other
16:00 July 28, 2009 by Plowbridge H. Broad
Will the doubters now admit they are wrong as I have conclusive proof that the swimsuit improved her performance:

16:39 July 28, 2009 by bocale1
jeffi, I think that the point here is that Sarah Sjöström was definitely the best in the race during this championship (and obviously she made lot of effort and commitment to achieve that) but, in a sport where technology is playing so big role, it makes little sense to compare the nowadays athletes with previous generations... and even in a matter of few months, new products may change times in a very sensible manner. Probably the entire concept of world record in swimming should loose its importance since becoming irrelevant, just a small detail as it happens in car racing where it is very hard to say if a certain time has been achieved by the talent of the pilot or the quality of the cars. And still it is a pity that we will probably not see so many records in the future unless new technologies are (re)introduced.
19:35 July 28, 2009 by Dorset
Jante is alive and well in this thread it seems A successfull 15 year old is bound to cause some emotions I guess.
20:37 July 28, 2009 by Plowbridge H. Broad
11 World records broken so far have made the sport and FINA a joke.
20:56 July 28, 2009 by BillyB
but what is actually so wrong with the new swim suits?

What is it so different to other sports where modern clothing or equipment makes them quicker or better than in years gone by?

By the same theory we should ignore all running records as the modern running shoe is lighter than in the past

Long jump records scrapped as they now have more aerodynamic cloths than in the past

All football records should be ignored as boots and balls are very different that in the past

Sampras and Federer should not be concidered most succesful tennis players as the racquets are so so different than in the past

and on and on

as long as everyone is allowed the same stuff why does it matter?
21:03 July 28, 2009 by Plowbridge H. Broad
If your read the earlier stated reasons behind the controversy (Renfeh's post especially) instead of jumping in at the bottom of the thread it would become apparent that this is not a simple enhancement issue.
21:36 July 28, 2009 by BillyB
Been going on for nearly 20 years with swimming suit technology giving a competitive edge year on year.

thats why no swimming world record last more than 2 or 3 years.

Not sure why its now become of that much interest.

the real question should be why are they bothering to ban them?

they should make the cyclists go back to penny farthings..
21:42 July 28, 2009 by bocale1
and anyhow, BillyB, you are right saying that there is little sense in comparing, for example, Federer with Borg, McEnroe, and all guys before them,,, and in fact, in several sports, personal records are not that important just because contribution of the technology makes things impossible to compare... and swimming should be one of them...
21:57 July 28, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Jeffi, you need to read posts in the full before you go off like a half

cocked idiot. I never doubted her or any other swimmer's training,

talent or desire and probably a few of them would have or will set new

world marks at these championships as they always do.

My post is directed at FINA for allowing a swimsuit that aids buoyancy

to be used at the championships when they had already decided it should

be banned next year anyway. It is clear that this swimsuit is much

faster and will allow records to be set that will not easily be beaten

after the swimsuit is banned.

All records set at these championships will be tainted and I am 100%

confident that at the next Olympics commentators will be saying "the

winning time was x under the WR set by yyy in 2009, but that was

recorded using the now banned swimsuit. The time is however the fastest

ever swam with the aid of the banned swimsuit"

This swimsuit cheats the old WR holders because the swimsuit is not part

of the "natural progression" in design that itself will be improved


But the people it cheats the most are the current and future swimmers.

Many will be denied the opportunity to be the worlds fastest, because

next year without these swimsuits they will struggle to beat the marks

set in Rome 2009.

FINA has really dropped the ball by not making the ban immediate. We are

not talking a sport like Formula One where teams might need time to

redesign a car to allow them to continue competing in the current

season. I would suspect that there are financial reasons behind the

decision behind the delayed ban, either financial incentives from the

suit maker or even the Rome 2009 promoters.

The London 2012 committee should be lobbying the IOC to pressure FINA

into disallowing all WR set with this suit.
22:01 July 28, 2009 by jack sprat
I think that up until the time these suits were first used, most World records were created on a fairly level playing field,(or swimming pool),apart possibly from those created from undetected drug use or abuse.

However as RH was trying to say, future competitors,for the next few years at least, are left very badly disadvantaged as far as creating new World records are concerned.

Those who could have fairly created new records in the next few years, may well now have their times considered as nothing special at all,...which does seem very unfair.
00:59 July 30, 2009 by Jamie_plymouth
Completely agree with RH.

Not taking anything away from the athletes training, desire and ability but this is in one form or another cheating.

I read that this new suit from 100% polyurethane enables them to turn faster underwater, reduces resistance and increases bouyancy.

I thought that the last suit, the Speedo LZR should have been stopped way before this all came about. FINA failed to act and nip it in the bud and to make it worse have delayed the ban until May I believe.

I feel its a shame for the sport to lose records from great champions like Ian Thorpe with technology being the deciding factor. And for the German guy to slash 7½ seconds off his personal best since using this suit and the amount of records broken just shows.

I think once there is a ban in place and swimming gets back to a purer form it will be a while before records are broken again.

I also feel all records should be erased since before Bejing.
Today's headlines
More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

How to make autumnal Swedish apple cake
Photo: SwedishFood.com

This tasty cake is an autumn staple in Swedish cafés. Why not make it yourself!

Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available