Therese Alshammar

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Therese Alshammar
Therese Alshammar.jpg
Personal information
Full name Malin Therese Alshammar
Nickname(s) Tessan
Nationality  Sweden
Born (1977-08-26) 26 August 1977 (age 38)
Solna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 63 kg (139 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes butterfly, freestyle
Club Täby Sim
College team Nebraska Cornhuskers (1997–1999)

Malin Therese Alshammar (born 26 August 1977 in Solna Municipality, Stockholm County) is a Swedish swimmer who has won three Olympic medals, 25 World Championship medals, and 43 European Championship medals. Standing at 1.80 m, she is a specialist in short distances races in freestyle and butterfly. She is coached by former Swedish swimmer Johan Wallberg.


Alshammar was born in Solna 1977, daughter to 7th placed Olympic breaststroke swimmer Britt-Marie Smedh[8] and Krister Alshammar.[9] She started swimming in the team of Sundbybergs IK.

At the beginning of her career she was a backstroke swimmer and in 1991, the year Alshammar turned 14, she won her first national short course title on 50 m backstroke at the 1991 Swedish Short Course Swimming Championships.[10] The year after, when she was 14 years old, she won her first national long course senior title, 100 m backstroke at the 1992 Swedish Swimming Championships representing Järfälla SS.[11]

Alshammar was a part of the Swedish team in 1993 European Championships in Sheffield, finishing fourth in the 100 m backstroke final, and in the inaugural World Short Course Championships in Palma de Mallorca. In Palma de Mallorca she took a ninth place in the individual 100 m backstroke, swum the prelims in the silver medal winning 4×100 m freestyle team and came forth in the 4×100 m medley alongside breaststroker Hanna Jaltner, butterfly swimmer Ellenor Svensson and Linda Olofsson on the freestyle leg.

She first appeared on the very international scene after the 1994 World Aquatics Championships where she made the semifinals in the 100 m backstroke. In the 1996 Olympics, she also participated in this event but did not reach beyond the semifinals.

In 1997, Alshammar moved to the United States and Lincoln, Nebraska to study at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and swim for the Nebraska Cornhuskers swimming and diving team together with Destiny Laurén under the coach Cal Bentz. The time in the United States resulted in one individual 1999 Big 12 Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships gold medal, on the 100 yard freestyle. At the NCAA Division 1 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, she won a silver medal in the 4×200 yard relay team 1998 and fourth in 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle 1999. Under her first year she was a part of the Nebraska Cornhuskers Big 12 Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships team. At a personal level she studied advertising.[12]

Alshammar also trained at The Race Club, a swimming club founded by Olympic Swimmers Gary Hall, Jr. and his father, Gary Hall, Sr. The Race Club, originally known as "The World Team," was designed to serve as a training group for elite swimmers across the world in preparation for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. To be able to train with the Race Club, one must either have been ranked in the top 20 in the world the past 3 calendar years or top 3 in their nation in the past year. The Race Club included well-known swimmers as Roland Mark Schoeman, Mark Foster, Ryk Neethling, Ricky Busquet.[13]

Alshammar won her first international medal, a bronze in the 50 m freestyle, at the 1997 European Championships. She developed this stroke into her speciality and won the silver at the 1999 European Championships.

She broke through to the top ranks at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney where she won silver medals in the 50 m and 100 m freestyle, both times vanquished by Inge de Bruijn, and a bronze medal with the Swedish relay team.

Since Sydney, she has been a favourite at major international events over short distances. At the World Championships in 2001 she won two silver medals, this time in the 50 m freestyle and 50 m butterfly. In the 2002 European Championships in Berlin she won the 50 m freestyle.

In 2003, she let up to focus on the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In her only start in the 50 m, she barely missed a medal, coming fourth in the 50 m freestyle.

In the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, she won a bronze medal in the 50 m butterfly, and took the gold on the same distance at World Championships in Shanghai 2011.

By winning three individual events at the 2006 Swedish Short Course Swimming Championships in Uppsala, she took her 73rd gold medal and became the Swedish swimmer with the most individual gold medals on the Swedish Championships, passing Anders Holmertz with one. She took her first gold medal in 1991.

On 17 March 2009, at the Australian Swimming Titles, she broke her own world record in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 25.44. She was later disqualified by Swimming Australia for wearing two swimsuits. FINA, swimming's governing body, had ratified a new rule only 17 days previously that swimmers can only wear one suit. Alshammar initially appealed the disqualification but withdrew the appeal when the new rule was explained to her.[14]

On 31 July 2011 she won the gold medal at 50 meter freestyle at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships, making her the oldest woman to win an individual gold medal at the long-course world championships. The day before, she had already won the silver medal in the 50 meter butterfly.

Personal life[edit]

Therese Alshammar is in a relationship with her coach Johan Wallberg. In June 2013 they became parents of a son.[15]

She is referred to by the nickname ′Tessan′ by people who know her and grew up in Duvbo, a part of Sundbyberg Municipality.


Personal bests[edit]

Long course (50 m)[edit]

Event Time

Date Meet Location Ref
50 m freestyle 23.88 NR 2 Aug 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [16]
100 m freestyle 53.58 (r) 26 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [17]
50 m backstroke 29.22 7 May 2005 Trofeu Brasil Belo Horizonte, Brazil
100 m backstroke 1.01.61 20 Jan 2012 Western Australia State Open Championships 2012 Australia [18]
50 m butterfly 25.07 (sf) 31 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [19]
100 m butterfly 57.55 12 Aug 2010 2010 European Championships Budapest, Hungary
Legend: WRWorld record; EREuropean record; NRSwedish record;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Short course (25 m)[edit]

Event Time

Date Meet Location Ref
50 m freestyle 23.27 NR 21 Nov 2009 World Cup Singapore
100 m freestyle 52.17 17 Mar 2000 World SC Championships Athens, Greece [20]
50 m backstroke 26.62 NR 29 Nov 2009 Swedish SC Championships Gothenburg, Sweden [21]
100 m backstroke 57.43 (r) 26 Nov 2009 Swedish SC Championships Gothenburg, Sweden [22]
50 m butterfly 24.38 WR 22 Nov 2009 World Cup Singapore, Singapore [23]
100 m butterfly 55.53 6 Nov 2010 World Cup Stockholm, Sweden
100 m individual medley 58.07 NR 26 Nov 2009 Swedish SC Championships Gothenburg, Sweden [24]
Legend: WRWorld record; EREuropean record; NRSwedish record;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ESPN Sydney Swimming". Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  2. ^ "12th FINA World Championships". Archived from the original on 6 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  3. ^ "Montreal 2005 Results". Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  4. ^ "5th FINA World Swimming Championships". Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  5. ^ "2002 World Championships – Short Course Swim Rankings results". Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  6. ^ "8th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)". Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  7. ^ "7th FINA World Championships – 25m Indianapolis 2004" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Swedish Medalists". 
  11. ^ "Swedish Medalists". 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The World Team". The Race Club. 
  14. ^ Alshammer Disqualified Yahoo Sports, 17 March 2009[dead link]
  15. ^ HD Retrieved 2013-06-26
  16. ^ "Results Women's 50m Freestyle" (PDF). OmegaTiming. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  17. ^ "Results Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay" (PDF). OmegaTiming. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Results Women's 50m Butterfly" (PDF). OmegaTiming. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  20. ^ "Results Women's 100m Freestyle" (PDF). OmegaTiming. 17 March 2000. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  21. ^ "Swedish Short Course Championships: Therese Alshammar Closes Meet With National Record". 29 November 2000. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by

Le Jingyi
Women's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (short course)

10 December 1999 – 8 August 2005
Succeeded by

Lisbeth Lenton
Preceded by

Le Jingyi
Women's 50 metre freestyle
world record holder (short course)

11 December 1999 – 17 November 2007
Succeeded by

Marleen Veldhuis
Preceded by

Anna-Karin Kammerling
Marleen Veldhuis
Women's 50 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)

13 June 2007 – 19 April 2009
29 July 2009 – 5 July 2014
Succeeded by

Marleen Veldhuis
Sarah Sjöström
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Anna-Karin Kammerling
Jessica Hardy
Female World Cup Overall Winner
2005/2006 – 2007
2010 – 2011
Succeeded by
Marieke Guehrer
Katinka Hosszú
Preceded by
First award
FINA Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
Missy Franklin
Preceded by
Johan Olsson, Daniel Richardsson,
Anders Södergren & Marcus Hellner
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
Succeeded by
Lisa Nordén