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Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden swimming star, breaks elbow five months before Olympics

Sarah Sjostrom

GWANGJU, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 25: Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden reacts after the Women’s 100m Freestyle Semifinal on day five of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships at Nambu International Aquatics Centre on July 25, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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Swede Sarah Sjöström, one of the world’s top swimmers, broke her right elbow slipping and falling on ice on Saturday, requiring surgery less than six months before the Olympics.

“It’s obviously very s----- timing and I feel devastated, but at the same time I’m determined and motivated to come back stronger then ever,” was posted on her Instagram. “I’ve seen athletes who come back stronger after injuries and they are my big inspiration now.”

Sjöström did not mention a potential timetable for a return to swimming. A Sweden Olympic Committee doctor said there was good hope she can return before the Olympics, according to Aftonbladet.

The 27-year-old is the reigning Olympic champion and world-record holder in the 100m butterfly. She also owns the fastest times in history in the 50m and 100m freestyles. She has twice won five individual medals at a world championships.

Sjöström is a rival to American stars Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel.

At Rio 2016, Sjöström gave Ledecky her toughest test in an individual event, touching .35 behind in the 200m free and outsplitting the American in the last 50 meters.

Manuel, a contender for a potential female record six golds in Tokyo when including relays, relegated Sjöström to silver and bronze in the 50m and 100m frees at the 2019 Worlds.

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