2020 BELARUS OPEN
- Tuesday, July 14th – Saturday, July 18th
- Brest Regional Olympic Aquatic Center
- 50m (LCM)
The 2020 Belarus Open kicked off today in Brest, with some of the nation’s best athletes set to take to the Regional Olympic Aquatic Center for the 5-day affair. Teen dynamo Anastasiya Shkurdai and breaststroking ace Ily Shymanovich are among the elite athletes competing over the course of the competition.
The original Belarus Open was set for May of this year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the nation is one of the few European countries that remained generally open during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. A self-quarantine restriction was put in place for inter-country travelers, but parades, various sporting events, and general ‘normal’ way of life continues.
Per the U.S. Embassy in Belarus, on July 13, 2020, the Belarus Ministry of Health reported there are 65,411 registered cases of COVID-19 in Belarus, an increase of 165 since the Ministry’s most recent previous report on July 12; 55,492 patients have recovered, and 468 individuals have died. The Ministry has not provided a cumulative total of recovered patients, so the total number of COVID-19 infections in Belarus to date is unknown. According to the Ministry of Health, Belarus has conducted over 1,141,000 tests since January 23.
As far as action at this Belarus Open, the results are pending, but we do know that 17-year-old Shkurdai posted a big-time mark in the women’s 100m freestyle in the morning heats. The Belarus Swimming Federation confirmed to SwimSwam that the teen crushed a 100m freestyle time of 54.97 to check-in with a new lifetime best in the event.
Splits are not yet available, but entering this competition we know that Shkurdai’s previous personal best rested at the 56.37 she produced just this past February at the Golden Tour Muffat in Nice. Her splits in that effort included 26.75/29.62.
For perspective, Shkurdai’s 54.97 from this morning would place her in slot #13 among the United States’ all-time age group performers for women 17-18, ranking the Belarusian ahead of the likes of Katie Drabot and Elizabeth Pelton.
As quick as Shkurdai’s time was, it still has a ways to go to hit the national record of 53.38 Olympian Aliaksandra Herasimenia put on the books nearly 8 years ago in London. Herasimenia’s time rendered the now-retired new mom as the silver medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Shkurdai claimed gold in both the women’s 50m and 100m butterfly events at last year’s European Junior Championships, while also snagging bronze in the 200m back. She followed that up with silver medals in both fly events at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Kazan.
The teen closed out her 2019 by collecting additional hardware at the European Short Course Championships, taking the gold in the 100m butterfly, but also doing damage in the International Swimming League final in Las Vegas. As a member of Energy Standard, Shkurdai set new Belarusian national records n the short course 50m fly (25.28) and 100m fly (56.09).
We will continue our coverage of this meet as results become available.