LONDON: Sweden's Olympic 100m butterfly champion Sarah Sjostrom returned to competition in France on Tuesday after having surgery for a broken elbow she suffered falling on ice in February.
The 27-year-old was second fastest in the 50m freestyle heats at the Mare Nostrum event in Canet en Roussillon with a time of 24.68 seconds - a second slower than her 2017 world record of 23.67.
"It felt very good. I had no pain in my arm," she told Sweden's SVT television.
"I didn't really have a time goal but... 24.6 is definitely a much better time than I thought I would be at this time."
Sjostrom, who has been training at high altitude in France, is expected to focus on freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.
She told SVT she had lost almost four cm of muscle mass around her right biceps after the surgery but has since regained some two cm.
Compatriot and triple Olympic medallist Therese Alshammar was also in the heats, making a comeback at the age of 43 and five years after retiring, and was sixth fastest in 25.83.