18-Year Old Evgenia Chikunova Breaks European Record in 200 Breast, #2 All-Time


  • November 20-25, 2022
  • Kazan, Russia
  • Short Course Meters (25 meters), prelims/finals + semi-finals for 50 & 100 meter races.
  • Results

On the 6th and final day of the 2022 Russian Swimming Championships, another European Record fell at the hands of Evgenia Chikunova in the women’s 200 meter breaststroke. Hers was the third European Record to fall during competition in Kazan this week, and she was joined by another National Record from Maria Kameneva.

The Solidarity Games are a season-ender for athletes from Russia and Belarus, who are ineligible to compete in December’s Short Course World Championships because of a ban on international competition after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.

In the women’s 200 breaststroke, the 18-year old Chikunova swam 2:14.70, which is within .13 seconds of the World Record and breaks the European and Russian Records.  That time breaks the old record of 2:15.21 that was sent by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen in 2013. It also broke the 2018 Russian Record of 2:15.62 set by Yulia Efimova. Pedersen’s record was set in a race where Efimova initially won and set a European and World Record, both of which were eventually stripped by a positive doping test. Efimova never went as fast again.

Evgenia Chikunova Rikke Moller Yulia Efimova
New European Record Former Euro Record
Former Russian Record
50m 31.03 30.8 31.51
100m 34.57 33.99 34.27
150m 34.51 34.95 34.48
200m 34.59 35.47 35.36
Final Time 2:14.70 2:15.21 2:15.26

Chikunova’s previous best time was a 2:16.88 done at the 2021 European Short Course Championships which was the European Junior and World Junior Record. There, she swam 2:16.88. As would be expected with such a big drop, her new record-setting swim includes improvements in every leg of the race.

Evgenia Chikunova
New European Record Previous PB Gap
50m 31.03 31.87 -0.84
100m 34.57 35.02 -0.45
150m 34.51 35.02 -0.51
200m 34.59 34.97 -0.38
Final Time 2:14.70 2:16.88 -2.18

The swim makes Chikunova the #2 performer and performance in history, behind only American Rebecca Soni, who is currently the World Record holder.

All-Time Top 5 Performers, Women’s 200 SCM Breaststroke

  1. Rebecca Soni, USA, 2009 Duel in the Pool – 2:14.57
  2. Evgenia Chikunova, Russia, 2022 Solidarity Games – 2:14.70
  3. Rikke Pederson, Denmark, 2013 European SC Championships – 2:15.21
  4. Leisel Jones, Australia, 2009 FINA Swimming World Cup – 2:15.42
  5. Lilly King, USA, 2020 ISL Finale – 2:15.56

Chikunova first broke through in 2019 when she was 14, winning a surprise 200 breaststroke at Russian Nationals. Ever since, she has challenged Efimova’s mantle as the country’s top female breaststroker, including when Chikunova won the 100 breaststroke at Russia’s Olympic Trials last year.

FINA has previously said that in spite of the ban on international competition for Russians, any World Records that they set would be recognized if all FINA rules are followed. That includes following all required doping controls. LEN has not specifically said the same, but a similar approach is expected.

Kameneva Breaks Russian Record

Chikunova wasn’t the only record breaker on the final day of competition. Maria Kameneva continued her breakout short course meet with a win and new Russian Record in the women’s 50 free.

She swam 23.35, breaking her own record of 23.48 swum at last December’s World Championship meet. That is her third Russian Record of the meet, one of seven total set this week:

Russian Records, 2022 Solidarity Games

Surkova, a double-record breaker at this meet herself, was 2nd in the 50 free in 23.92, which just missed her personal best by .02 seconds. That was Surkova’s second swim of the day: she also broke the National Record in the 100 fly early in the session, swimming 56.30. That broke her own record of 56.36 that was set during the 2020 ISL season.

Other Day 6 Winners and Notables

  • Kliment Kolesnikov followed his World Record in the 50 backstroke with a win in the 100 free in 45.66. That put him nine-tenths of a second ahead of Andrei Minakov, who was 2nd in 46.56. In total, Kolesnikova was the biggest winner of the meet, taking 5 gold medals, including relays. He finished the session with a  49.00 backstroke leadoff leg for Moscow City’s winning 400 medley relay.
  • Evgeny Rylov won the men’s 200 back in 1:50.32. That’s about four seconds shy of his personal best in the event. Rylov is the defending Olympic champion in both the 100 and 200 backstroke and is currently serving a 9-month suspension, in addition to the national suspension, for serving a central role in a pro-war Putin rally earlier this year.
  • Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich won the men’s 50 breaststroke in 25.94, beating out Russian Kirill Prigoda (25.98). 18-year old Maksim Trotsenko finished 4th in 26.24, which is a new Russian Junior Record in the event. Of the 22 nations present at the meet, only Russia, Belarus (9 medals), and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1 medal) won awards.
  • Italian-trained Anna Egorova won the women’s 400 free in 4:00.09. That is the second-best time of her career, behind only a personal best of 3:58.91. That was her 2nd win of the meet, adding to a victory in the 800 free (8:19.03).
  • Teenager Aleksandr Stepanov won the men’s 1500 free in 14:37.40.

Final Top-Swims Rankings/Prize Money

Full ranking here.

At this meet, cash prizes are being awarded for the top 20 men and top 20 women by their best FINA Points swim. Chikunova’s European Record on the final day of competition earns her the top women’s honor,  while Kolesnikov’s World Record in the 50 back earned him the top men’s honor

Women Prize Money Earners:

Rank Swimmer Year of Birth Country/Region Event Time FINA Power Points  Prize Money (Rubles)  Prize Money (USD)
1 CHIKUNOVA Evgeniia 2004 Saint Petersburg 200m Breaststroke 2:14.70 997           120,000  $      1,975
2 KAMENEVA Mariia 1999 Kaluga Region 50m Backstroke 25.60 961           115,000  $      1,893
3 SURKOVA Arina 1998 Novosibirsk Region 50m Butterfly 24.84 945           110,000  $      1,811
4 GODUN Nika 1997 Moscow City 100m Breaststroke 1:03.71 937           105,000  $      1,728
5 EGOROVA Anna 1998 KHMAO-Kaliningrad Region 400m Freestyle 4:00.09 924           100,000  $      1,646
6 ZMUSHKA Alina 1997 Belarus 100m Breaststroke 1:04.07 922             95,000  $      1,564
7 SIMONOVA Vitalina 1992 Novosibirsk Region 200m Breaststroke 2:19.19 903             90,000  $      1,481
8 BELONOGOFF Tatiana 2001 Moscow Region-1 100m Breaststroke 1:04.61 899             85,000  $      1,399
9 ERSHOVA Margarita 2005 Volgograd Region 1500m Freestyle 15:55.31 887             80,000  $      1,317
10 BOGOMOLOVA Elena 2005 Nizhny Novgorod Region 50m Breaststroke 29.80 880             75,000  $      1,235
11 GRISHCHENKO Anita 2000 Novosibirsk Region 50m Butterfly 25.45 879             70,000  $      1,152
12 SALAMATINA Valeriia 1998 Republic of Tatarstan 200m Freestyle 1:55.55 870             65,000  $      1,070
13 GANUS Anna 1997 Krasnoyarsk Territory 100m Breaststroke 1:05.34 869             60,000  $          988
14 KLEPIKOVA Daria 2005 Voronezh Region 100m Butterfly 57.43 858             55,000  $          905
15 SHAKIROVA IAna 2005 Saint Petersburg 100m Medley 59.56 854             47,500  $          782
15 KOZIAKINA Polina 2007 Volgograd Region 1500m Freestyle 16:07.40 854             47,500  $          782
17 MULLAKAEVA Daria 1998 Moscow City 200m Freestyle 1:56.35 852             37,500  $          617
17 USTINOVA Daria S. 1998 Saint Petersburg 200m Freestyle 1:56.35 852             37,500  $          617
19 CHIMROVA Svetlana 1996 Saint Petersburg 100m Butterfly 57.61 850             30,000  $          494
20 DUPLINSKAIA Anastasiia 2003 Novosibirsk Region 100m Backstroke 57.96 849             25,000  $          412

Men Prize Money Earners

Rank Swimmer Year of Birth Country/Region Event Time FINA Power Points  Prize Money (Rubles)  Prize Money (USD)
1 KOLESNIKOV Kliment 0 Moscow City 50m Backstroke 22.11 1014           120,000  $      1,975
2 BORODIN Ilia 3 Bryansk Region 400m Medley 3:58.08 959           115,000  $      1,893
3 SEMIANINOV Danil 98 Moscow City 100m Breaststroke 56.25 949           110,000  $      1,811
4 SHYMANOVICH Ilya 94 Belarus 100m Breaststroke 56.26 948           105,000  $      1,728
5 KHARLANOV Aleksandr 95 Penza Region 200m Butterfly 1:50.44 941           100,000  $      1,646
6 PRIGODA Kirill 95 Saint Petersburg 200m Breaststroke 2:02.70 939             95,000  $      1,564
7 DORINOV Mikhail 95 Nizhny Novgorod Region 200m Breaststroke 2:03.19 928             90,000  $      1,481
8 MINAKOV Andrei 2 Saint Petersburg 50m Butterfly 22.30 927             85,000  $      1,399
9 SAMUSENKO Pavel 1 Murmansk Region 50m Backstroke 22.85 919             80,000  $      1,317
10 KUDASHEV Aleksandr 95 Samara Region 200m Butterfly 1:51.35 918             75,000  $      1,235
PAVLOV Egor 1 Penza Region 200m Butterfly 1:51.37 918             70,000  $      1,152
SUDAREV Aleksei 3 Sverdlovsk Region 200m Breaststroke 2:03.63 918             65,000  $      1,070
13 PEKARSKI Grigori 98 Belarus 50m Butterfly 22.46 908             60,000  $          988
14 GIREV Ivan 0 Moscow Region-Tula Region 200m Freestyle 1:42.83 902             55,000  $          905
15 RYLOV Evgenii 96 Moscow Region-1 100m Backstroke 50.03 901             50,000  $          823
16 KOSTIN Oleg 92 Nizhny Novgorod Region 50m Butterfly 22.52 900             42,500  $          700
16 SHEVLIAKOV Roman 98 Saint Petersburg 50m Butterfly 22.52 900             42,500  $          700
18 STEPANOV Aleksandr 3 Moscow Region-Yaroslavl Ragion 1500m Freestyle 14:37.40 899             35,000  $          576
19 CHUPKOV Anton 97 Moscow City 100m Breaststroke 57.34 896             30,000  $          494
20 SHATALOV Daniil 99 Moscow City 400m Freestyle 3:40.36 893             25,000  $          412

In This Story

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2 months ago

A great number of posters at this forum don’t really care of what’s going on in Ukraine. Too far from us. Moreover because of those stubborn Ukrainians who don’t want make some “peace negotiations” giving up 20% of their territory we are experiencing some inconveniences. You are beginning to forget the purpose of these bans and sanctions: stopping the aggression; punishing it for the crime.
If you watch this Russian championships you will notice that the main theme is “We are great”, “If they are afraid competing with us then that is their business. We don’t need them”.
That is how propaganda is working in Russia now. And you have to understand that that there is no such… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

Hi Yozhik. I firmly condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine and I firmly support the incredible courage of Ukrainian people. But Russia is a severe autocracy: whoever disagrees on leader maximus’ decisions, above all on such a serious argument like “the special operation in Ukraine”, is harshly sanctioned or even imprisoned, so it’s difficult for me, who live in a democracy, being sure that I would behave in a different way from the vast majority of Russian citizens. Russian (and Belarusian) swimmers are already sanctioned with their ban from all the most important Fina and Len events: requiring that all of them become civil heroes that accept to be imprisoned is perhaps too much.

Reply to  nuotofan
2 months ago

nuotofan, frankly regular russians are the people who let this severe autocracy to happen. And they are perfectly fine with it unless they have to go and die at war. That’s why it’s their responsibility. Did you follow what happened in Ukraine in 2014? More than hundred people were shot in the center of Kyiv fighting for the right to live in democracy. And we won. What 140 millions of russians did to fight the regime? Nothing. They don’t mind it.

Reply to  nuotofan
2 months ago

Dear Nuotofan it wasn’t my intention to start the political discussion at this sport website. Just couldn’t keep silent. And that is why:
Our close friend that we know from elementary school and that we spent together our childhood and youth is living near Moscow Russia now. There was a long interruption in our communication since the beginning of this war. And finally we got a call on my birthday. But the conversation was very short. Our friend firmly believes that that were American rockets that ruined the city of our Youth and Dreams. And that was done purposely to blame it on Russia and to provoke the justified response by Russian Army in limited military operation.
When… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Yozhik
2 months ago

Is there a video?

2 months ago

Seems like there’s a solid shot this WR goes down before the year is over.

2 months ago

I am so glad you guys discuss terrorist state’s swimming while we are sitting here in Kyiv without electricity and heating in winter caused by Russian missile attacks on critical infrastracture.

Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago

You’re definitely sitting in the comfort of your own home in America

Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago

You are not in Kiev dumbass

Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago

No way you’re from Ukraine and your name is Eugene.

Reply to  Liar.
2 months ago

Liar., LOL! Haven’t you heard that names of Greek origin have slightly different spelling in different languages? In my passport I’m Yevhen which is the Ukrainian equivalent of Eugene in English.

Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago


Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago

Because sports is sports and politics is politics my guy.

Reply to  carlo
2 months ago

carlo, even most of the people in my country used to think so too. But that changes quickly after missiles start to destroy your country, city, places you love, people you know etc. I’m tired of explaining this, you’d better read Yozhik’s comment.

Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago

Yeah how dare we discuss an incredible performance by an 18 year old girl. She is complicit and bares personal responsibility for the hardship of those in Ukraine. It is disgusting that she is not doing anything to help them in her country where those who dissent are disappeared.

Get a grip.

Reply to  IM FAN
2 months ago

IM FAN, your ignorant views would change in a moment if you personally face something similar to what’s happening to us now, believe me. I don’t even blame you for not knowing what you are talking about.

2 months ago

Since September 2022 Anna Egorova is “Italian-trained” (also the French Damien Joly with her) Anna Egorova si allena a Livorno con coach Stefano Morini – Nuoto.com

2 months ago

Soni seemed so far ahead of her time.

Reply to  A B
2 months ago

Rebecca Soni was amazing, but to be fair, at the 2009 Duel in the Pool, they were all wearing magic swimsuits…so getting so close to the record is a big achievement.

Reply to  dawser
2 months ago

Agreed. Records were meant to be broken.

Negative Nora
2 months ago

She would definitely have to be considered a top contender if Russians are allowed to compete in Paris, if not the top contender for Paris given her consistency with going 2:20s in LCM and her continuing to improve both there and in short course as well (and just only turning 18). I think she’ll be under 2:20 come LCM season.

Last edited 2 months ago by Negative Nora
Joel Lin
2 months ago

This WR is a goner in Melbourne next month. Kate Douglass will break it.

Reply to  Joel Lin
2 months ago

Her 2:01 SCY time converts to 2:15, so I’m not sure why everyone assumes she will break it.

Demarrit Steenbergen
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 months ago

Lily is 2:15 and 2:02.6 Kate is ??? And 2:01.87

Obese Legend
Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

Historically this kind of math seldom works.

Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

King’s SCY time was two years before her SCM time, and she began concentrating on the 200 much more between Rio and Tokyo. I would assume King’s best SCY time is probably faster than that. Not a great comparison.

Joel Lin
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 months ago

that makes an assumption that the Tennessee Invite was Kate’s peak meet in the fall

Negative Nora
Reply to  Joel Lin
2 months ago

The Russians also have another meet in three weeks, Salnikov Cup, so it could go down there as well.

Reply to  Joel Lin
2 months ago

i don’t think Douglass can beat king in melbourne but he can make it in 2:16
what mark do you think it would reach?

Reply to  Joel Lin
2 months ago

This seems very premature. People were also convinced she was going to break it in Budapest.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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