Vladimir Morozov became a superstar for Russia this year. His name became known not only because of his short course dominance (splitting an earth shattering 50 free at NCAAs: covering 50 yards (22.86 meters) in 17.86 seconds), but because of his incredible consistency throughout the season.
Moving into the summer, Morozov claimed a spot on the Russian World Championship team. He posted a personal best in the 50 long course meter free and eclipsed the 13-year old Russian National record, good enough for a silver medal. That swim broke the record of one Alexander Popov: a Russian sporting legend. He also added to the medal count by swimming a leg on the 4×100 freestyle relay which was awarded a bronze medal.
Moving into the fall, it rained gold medals for Morozov. After posting 18 individual wins across the 8 World Cups and coming in second in the overall rankings to Chad Le Clos, Morozov moved onto European Short Course Championships. Seven turned out be his lucky number in Herning. Posting numerous world records, Morozov hauled in 7 gold medals (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 IM, men’s 4 x 50 freestyle relay, men’s 4 x 50 medley relay, mixed 4 x 50 freestyle relay and mixed 4 x 50 medley relay). 2013 proved to be a brilliant year for Russian Federation swimming, and Morozov deserves a huge thank you for his role in their success. (Hopefully a 2013 Euro Swimmer of the Year will help).
- Daniel Gyurta-Going unbeaten in major meets (Worlds, Short Course Worlds end of 2012, Long Course Worlds in 2013, and Short Course Euros) Gyurta remained the king of the 200 breastroke. In Herning, he added to his resume by claiming a gold in the 100 as well.
- Yannick Agnel-Agnel was a key piece in the French’s first ever win over the Americans and the Russians in the 4×100 freestyle relay at World Championships. In a race that has always come with drama, Agnel delivered a great lead off split of 48.76 allowing the Frenchmen to win the race in a time of 3:11.18. Besides the pivotal relay win, Agnel also became a World Champion in the 200 meter freestyle.