Swimming

Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom breaks elbow 

The Swedish world record holder slipped on ice and needs to have surgery with less than 200 days to go until Tokyo 2020. 

By Sven Busch ·

Sweden's swim star Sarah Sjostrom has suffered a major blow in her quest to defend her Olympic 100m butterfly title at Tokyo 2020.

With less than 200 days to go until the Tokyo Games, the world record holder revealed in an Instagram post on Sunday that she broke her elbow while visiting a friend in her native Sweden. The 27-year-old is scheduled to have surgery on Monday.

"Unfortunately I've got some bad news this snowy morning from Stockholm. Yesterday I slipped badly on the ice and broke my elbow when I fell on the ground," wrote Sjostrom, whose right arm is in a cast from her hand to nearly her shoulder.

"It's obviously very sh... timing and I feel devastated, but at the same time I'm determined and motivated to come back stronger than ever."

"I've seen athletes who come back stronger after injuries and they are my big inspiration now. Surgery is scheduled tomorrow. I have an amazing support team around me, and they will help me with rehabilitation."

There was no official word on how long it will take for her to be able to hit the water again, but on average it takes about six weeks for such an injury to heal.

Here are five things you did not know about Sjostrom who owns 11 world titles.

Date for comeback unclear

Sweden's team doctor Rene Tour did not want to speculate about a possible return date for Sjostrom while talking to Swedish media on Sunday; "It is difficult to say exactly how long it will take. she will have surgery tomorrow. The conditions become very clear when you do the operation. So we'll know more about the timing perspective then"

Sjostrom was apparently very calm about the incident according to Tour. "

It was a difficult afternoon for her. But Sarah is a tough person, she's in good spirits. She will come out of this strong. Her first comment was that it was good that it was the right arm and not the left because she is left-handed."

Sarah Sjostrom at age 17

The story of the Swedish star years before she became her country's first f...

Many swim stars like two-time world champion Jeanette Ottesen and double Olympic gold medallist Emily Seebohm reached out to Sjostrom with messages of support.

Double Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini said: "I feel bad for you. Stay strong baby."

Japan's Ikee Rikako who was battling leukemia, posted an emotional picture on Instagram saying: "Never give up Sarah."

The Olympics in Tokyo are supposed to be Sjostrom's fourth Games.