Success for Icelandic Swimmers at Olympics Skip to content

Success for Icelandic Swimmers at Olympics

Icelandic swimmer Sarah Blake Bateman swam at a time of 25:28 seconds in the 50-meter crawl at the London Olympics this morning, placing 16-18th. It is the best achievement by an Icelandic female swimmer to date.


Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The second-best achievement was at the 1948 London Olympics when Anna Ólafsdóttir competed for Iceland in the 100-meter breaststroke and placed 18th, reports.

Since only 16 competitors could continue to the semi- finals, Sarah had to compete for the spot against Kara Lynn Joyce from the US and Amy Smith from the UK. Smith was the first person to reach the goal and thus qualified. Sarah’s time was 26:06 seconds.

Sarah had just completed the relay swimming, 4×100- meters in medley, with Eygló Ósk Gústavsdóttir, backstroke, Hrafnhildur Lúthersdóttir, breaststroke, and Eva Hannesdóttir, crawl. Sarah swam butterfly.

Their combined time was 4:09:07 minutes, which is three hundredths parts from the Icelandic record. But Eygló Ósk, who swam the first 100 meters, had a time of 1:01:74, which is a new Icelandic record. The team placed 15th out of 16.

Eygló Ósk, who is only 17, finished 20th out of 37 competitors in the 200-meter backstroke yesterday at a time of 2:11:31, reports.

“It is very good to finish 20th at the Olympics and I am very satisfied with the result. I beat, for example, Laure Manaudou from France who is an excellent swimmer,” Eygló Ósk told Morgunblaðið. The top 16 swimmers made it on to the semi- finals.

She was in the same qualifying group as Missy Franklin from the US, who is also 17 and holds the world record with 2:07:54 minutes.

“It isn’t bad being in the same qualifying group as such big names,” stated Eygló Ósk. “I was of course very nervous. They smiled and laughed but I just tried to keep my cool.”

Meanwhile, Árni Már Árnason finished in exactly the same time in 50-meter crawl yesterday as in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, in 22:81 seconds. He ranked 31st out of 58 competitors.

Click here for other news of the Icelandic Olympic athletes.


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