2017 Swammy Awards: International Male Junior of the Year Kliment Kolesnikov

To see all of our 2017 Swammy Awards presented by TYR, click here. 


The battle for male International Junior Swimmer of the Year was a toss-up coming into December. Both Russian Kliment Kolesnikov and American Michael Andrew had close to double-digit World Junior Record swims. Andrew had 3 individual World Junior titles (50 free, 50 back, 50 fly) plus two more bronze medals from the summer’s championship. Kolesnikov, meanwhile, missed a medal at the senior World Championships by just .08 seconds.

And then December happened. While both swimmers performed well in the month, Kolesnikov had an other-worldly finish to 2017. In the last 6 weeks of the year, he broke at least 12 World Junior Records. He was the top male swimmer at the European Championships with 5 golds and 1 silver medal, and the single-best swim. Then he wrapped it all up nicely with a senior World Record at the year-ending Vladimir Salnikov Swim Cup to put a bow on his award.

Over the summer, Kolesnikov took over a second off the former World Junior Record in the long course 200 back, eventually lowering it to a blistering 1:55.14. In the short course version of the event, he put up a World Junior Record of 1:48.02. Just days ago, Kolesnikov broke a World Record in the short course 100 back, touching in 48.90 to take down the former mark set by Olympic champion Matt Grevers in 2015.

Honorable Mention

  • Michael Andrew (USA)- Andrew was the World Junior Champion in 3 of the 4 stroke 50s this summer, breaking the World Junior Record in the 50 fly, 50 back, and 50 free. He also earned bronze in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes, as well as an 8th place finish in the 200 IM at the World Junior Championships.
  • Kristof Milak (HUN)- Milak, a butterfly specialist, took down the World Junior Record in the long course 100 fly and 200 fly this year, becoming faster than the legendary Michael Phelps was at his age. At the 2017 World Championships, Milak earned a silver in the 100 fly. At the World Junior Championships, he was the gold medalist in both the 100 and 200 fly and the bronze medalist in the 50 fly.
  • Tan Haiyang (CHN)- Haiyang set World Junior Records in the 200 IM and 200 breast this year. At the 2017 FINA World Championships, he set a new World Junior Record to place 6th in the 200 IM. He demolished the World Junior and Chinese Record in the 200 breast in September, going a 2:07.35 to win China’s National Games and become the 9th fastest swimmer of all time in the event.

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Years of Plain Suck
5 years ago

Off topic for LAUREN: it says in your bio that you are “currently working on her M.A. in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College in New York City, hoping to pursue a career in federal law enforcement after you complete your degree.” Fascinating. I assume that you’ve watched the recently released Netflix series “Mindhunter” about the early days of the FBI’s creation of psychological profiles of serial killers in the 1970s. If so, I’m curious what you thought of the series. Good luck in your studies!

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Destin Lasco.
I always vote for Destin Lasco. 🙂

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Yeah. Destin Lasco for the most amazing negative splits (in the 100 free and 200 back at Winter Junior Nats) of the year

5 years ago

I hate to ask, but can people Russian records seriously? They have had a few… issues with doping the last few years. As well as a number of ELITE swimmers coming up through the ranks that disappear for a year, and then come back. Evgeny Sednov comes to mind. He was the best a few years ago as a junior level swimmer, went 21.74 at Russian nationals this past summer, and disappears again.

I hope this guy is legit and not doping, but how can we not think it?

5 years ago

What is going to be the Big Meet next year for Milak and Kolesnikov and other top junior Europeans that are setting all the records?

Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

For Milak and Kolesnikov certainly the European (Senior) Championships which will be held in Glasgow, 2-12 August.
They still will be Juniors swimmers, but I don’t think their main target will be the European Juniors Championships (where, for instance, Minakov could be a protagonist).
There will be an interesting comparison between European Champs and Panpacs results, next August.

5 years ago

To echo BSD, I am surprised that Martinenghi is not even mentioned there …

Sir Swimsalot
5 years ago

It’s the sad truth. I hope Kolesnikov is clean. And Russia was even banned from the Pyeongchang games for it.

5 years ago

Many things to talk about.
First of all a lot of promising Junior swimmers, like showed at the end of August in Indy, northeless at these World Junior Champs were absent some great names (obviously Kolesnikov, but also Sancov, for instance)

1) Looking at 2017 results, in my opinion should be first Milak, silver medalist at Senior Worlds and author of that great time in the 200 fly at EuroJunior in Netanya. Looking at the future, Kolesnikov is really impressive (but also Milak..). In both cases,. Michael Andrew (one year older) more than a category below these fantastic prospects: Kolesnikov and Milak, Milak and Kolesnikov.

2) Pondering the performances per ages, worthy to be mentioned also Ivan Girev, World… Read more »

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

Not to forget Hugo González, (1.56.69 in the 200 backstroke and 4.14.65 in the 400 medley, both LCM) who has already made two NCAA “A” cuts in his first season in the USA

Reply to  mclovin96
5 years ago

Right, Hugo Gonzalez remains a great backstroker/Imer for the future as a three golden medal winner at last Junior Worlds.
I didn’t mention him because he was already a protagonist at Junior Worlds 2015 in Singapore with a gold in the 200 back (1.58.1) and a bronze in the 400 im (4.18.1).

das swimmer
5 years ago

How are people downvoting this? If they don’t like being accused of PEDs they should try having clean athletes for a few months.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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