Swim of the Week is brought to you by arena, a SwimSwam partner.
Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
It was a record-setting opening day of the 2022 FINA World Cup series in Berlin, as numerous national marks fell by the wayside, including Tes Schouten crushing her hours-old Dutch Record en route to victory in the women’s 200 breaststroke (2:19.55).
Flying under the radar, however, was the runner-up in that race, Denmark’s Thea Blomsterberg, who joined Schouten under the 2:20 barrier in 2:19.96.
Blomsterberg is denied the shine of setting a new national record due to the fact that her countrywoman, Rikke Moller Pedersen, is the second-fastest swimmer in history, holding the European Record at 2:15.21.
Blomsterberg’s performance shows steady improvement, as she drops eight-tenths off her previous best of 2:20.77, set last December, dovetailing on the progress she made this past summer in the long course pool.
Blomsterberg, Dec. 2021
Blomsterberg, Oct. 2022
After breaking through at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, swimming a personal best time of 2:25.98 at the age of 16 that qualified her second overall out of the heats (ultimately placing 12th in the semis), Blomsterberg hit a snag and went four years between best times in the event.
In May 2021, after adding four seconds at the 2021 Euros in Budapest to place 29th, she was candid about her struggles but vowed to grow stronger from the experience.
Blomsterberg came back and had a very strong showing at the 2022 Euros in August, setting a new lifetime best of 2:25.44 in the 200 breast semis before finishing fourth in the final (2:25.57).
Her swim on Day 1 in Berlin was just the next step in her progression as an up-and-coming threat in the women’s 200 breast, further propelling her into the upper echelon of female breaststrokers.
Set to make her World Championship debut in December, Blomsterberg has solidified herself as someone who will be in the final, and maybe, an outside medal threat.
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