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Therese Alshammar 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 of short races in freestyle and butterfly.
Alshammar 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 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.
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.
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.