Swedish Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom is thrilled to be challenging Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the nation’s sporting hero after her success at Rio 2016.
Sjostrom, 22, became the first female swimmer from the country to win gold at the Games with her victory in the 100 metre butterfly on Sunday.
Sweden’s eyes are generally fixed on Manchester United recruit Ibrahimovic, their all-time leading goalscorer in football.
Sjostrom was happy to be compared to the striker, saying: “He is one of a kind.
“It is usually always male athletes who get this stuff, the biggest name in sport – so it is nice a woman can come up and challenge him.”
Sjostrom may yet add to her gold, with the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events to come.
Fellow swimmer Simon Sjodin said Sjostrom was yet to match Ibrahimovic, but she had inspired her nation nonetheless.
“Well, I don’t think she’ll beat Ibrahimovic but she’s getting closer,” Sjodin said.
“So Ibra is first, he’s inspired a whole generation, and now Sarah has done the same. They’re two good role models for Sweden.”