World Cup winner Alshammar and Olympic champion Frolander head up Sweden’s bid for glory in Dubai
Therese Alshammar and Lars Frolander, two of the greatest swimmers in the history of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), are heading up Sweden’s bid for glory at this month’s event in Dubai.
The duo, both multiple medallists from past events, are the most prominent names in a powerful squad of 20 that also includes Sarah Sjostrom, the world record-holder in the 100m butterfly.
Freestyle and butterfly sprinter Alshammar, who earlier this month won the FINA World Cup for the third time, already has 15 medals – including nine golds – from previous appearances in these Championships.
And if she can achieve three more podium finishes at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex, the 33 year-old will become the most decorated female athlete in its history.
That would see Alshammar overtake the now-retired Jenny Thompson of the United States of America (USA) and Martina Moravcova of Slovakia, who both have 17 world short course medals.
Alshammar has had a fantastic year in the pool as, in addition to her FINA World Cup win, she won three medals – two golds and a silver – in the European Championships over the long course in Budapest in August.
Frolander, the Olympic champion in the 100m butterfly in Sydney in 2000, has 14 medals – including seven golds – from his previous appearances in the Championships.
That leaves the 36 year-old just one podium finish behind the USA’s Ryan Lochte and Michael Klim of Australia – both with 15 medals – and level with another Australian, Matt Welsh, among the top male athletes in the history of the World Championships over the short course.
Sjostrom won gold in the 100m butterfly in Budapest in August, following on from her victory in the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome over the same distance last year.
And she was part of the 4x100m medley relay team that won silver in Budapest, a team that also featured Alshammar and Joline Hostman, another athlete heading to Dubai for the Championships.
The Championships take place from 15 – 19 December at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex and will feature 900 of the world’s best swimmers from more than 125 countries.
That will make them the biggest, both in terms of numbers of athletes and also participating countries, in the history of the event, which stretches back to 1993.
And Sweden’s swimmers are totally focused on Dubai after opting out of the recent European Short Course Championships, held in Eindhoven in the Netherlands from 25 – 28 November, allowing them crucial preparation time.
Mr Obaid Al Shamsi, Championships Director, said: “The fact Sweden is sending such a strong squad is yet another illustration of the quality of our event and that it is truly global.
“To have athletes of the calibre of Lars Frolander and Therese Alshammar in action is wonderful news and I believe their quality and longevity will serve as an inspiration to all. We look forward to welcoming the whole squad to Dubai.”
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