2016 Olympic Champion Dmitriy Balandin Retires From Swimming

Olympic gold medalist Dmitriy Balandin has announced his retirement from competitive swimming.

Balandin, who won a historic title for his home nation of Kazakhstan in the men’s 200 breaststroke at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, announced the news in a video post on Instagram Wednesday.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kazakhstan Olympic Team (@olympickz)

Balandin, 27, will now take on a coaching role with Kazakhstan’s national team, having recently met with head coach Ilya Gusakov and the chairman of the Committee for Sports and Physical Culture, Samat Yergaliev.

“Athletes who have conquered the Olympics should continue to contribute to the development of the country’s sports, and not move away from this direction,” Yergaliev said, according to the committee’s press release.

“I think that your desire to become a coach shows how important Kazakhstani sports are to you. For our part, we are ready to support you.”

Balandin is best known for his triumph in Rio, as he claimed the gold medal in the men’s 200 breast out of Lane 8, clocking a time of 2:07.46 to emerge victorious over a tightly-bunched field that saw the top seven finishers all within 54 one-hundredths of one another.

His victory marked Kazakhstan’s first-ever Olympic medal in swimming.

Prior to winning Olympic gold, Balandin made a name for himself at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, sweeping the men’s 50, 100 and 200 breast events. He was also the 2015 World University Games gold medalist in the 100 breast, and won a total of six Asian Games medals and four WUGs medals over the course of his career.

He also represented Kazakhstan at four consecutive LC World Championships from 2013 to 2019, placing seventh in both the 100 and 200 breast in Gwangju.

In his second Olympic appearance last summer in Tokyo, Balandin placed 11th in the men’s 200 breast and 17th in the 100 breast.

He remains the Kazakhstani Record holder in the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke (LCM):

  • 50 breast – 27.24 (2015 World Championships)
  • 100 breast – 59.03 (2019 World Championships)
  • 200 breast – 2:07.46 (2016 Olympic Games)

Following his Olympic victory, Balandin had a pool named after him at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan.

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4 months ago

The photo above is very strange and quite enjoyable.

Sapnu puas
Reply to  Pisspooler
4 months ago

Edna Mode

Go Kamminga Go
4 months ago

I thought he had retired some years back?

Obese Legend
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
4 months ago

He was at last year’s Olympics, placing 17th in 100 breast and made it into semis in 200 breast.

maximum mchuge
4 months ago

Also dabbled in open water when he was young. Placed a solid 41st out of a field of 43 at world jr ow champs in 2012 in the 7.5k.

4 months ago

Basically russian

Obese Legend
Reply to  Ukrainian
4 months ago

What are you talking about? Kazakhstan is an independent country and it’s not part of Russia. The fact that he’s of the same ethnicity doesn’t mean he’s basically Russian. Otherwise Ukrainians are basically Russians too.

Reply to  Obese Legend
4 months ago

Bruh… Being born in Kazakhstan to russian parents and having zero mentions on your social media about the war your ethnic motherland started… well, doesn’t it make you a true russian? 🤡 That’s the exact thing that defines person as a “russian” in 2022 – they are all perfectly okay with what their country is doing (unless it demands you to leave your family and go die for Pooteen somewhere in Kharkiv lol).

I can’t even imagine myself staying silent if MY country starts to invade other independent state, no matter where I am at the moment. Pardon me, but I expect the same from everyone who is somehow related to russia.

P.S. And go read some history books or… Read more »

Obese Legend
Reply to  Ukrainian
4 months ago

Wikipedia tells me around 20% of Ukrainian population are of Russian ethnicity. And I know some Ukrainian swimmers such as Govorov lived in Russia in their childhood, does it make them Russians too?
A person who was born and grew up in Kazakhstan is not Russian. Straight and simple.

Also, not everyone is involved in social media. You needn’t post a lot of things on the internet to show your stance and what kind of person you are.

Reply to  Ukrainian
4 months ago

aha so all the russians who protest against the war are not “true russians” by your definition. genius

Reply to  Ukrainian
4 months ago

I’m wondering who Penny Oleksiak basically is: Ukrainian or actually Canadian?

Jan oleksiak
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

We are Polish

4 months ago

The man from the land of borat

Reply to  DoinB
4 months ago

His name is of Russian origin and his ethnicity isn’t certainly kazakh. But can I ask you who are basically all residents of US? Native Americans?
What were the purpose and point of your post?

Last edited 4 months ago by Yozhik
Reply to  DoinB
4 months ago

And you are probably from the country that gave the World Donald Trump 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by Matt
masters swimmer
4 months ago

Legend 👍

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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