2019 Swammy Awards: Male Breakout Swimmer of the Year Andrei Minakov

To see all of our 2019 Swammy Awards, click here. 


Andrei Minakov (photo: Rafael Domeyko)

Minakov competed in his first FINA World Championships in 2019, earning 2 medals. Individually, he took silver in the 100 fly. Minakov broke the Russian Record in that event in both semis and finals. He was also a member of Russia’s 4×100 medley relay, swimming the fly leg to help them to bronze. The team set a new Russian Record.

The 2019 FINA World Junior Championships were also a first for Minakov as he earned a 6-medal haul that included 3 golds. He won 2 individual gold medals at that meet. His first came in the 100 fly, and he followed that up with a win in the 100 free. Minakov helped Russia to several relay medals there.

Rolling to success all summer long, Minakov also won 4 gold medals at the European Junior Swimming Championships.

Minakov was a part of the Russian squads that earned silver in both the men’s 4×100 free relay and the mixed 4×100 medley relay. The Russians earned relay gold in the men’s 4×100 medley, with Minakov taking on the fly leg again.


In no particular order

  • Florian Wellbrock (GER)- At 2019 Worlds, Wellbrock won his first major international medals. He started with a gold in the 10k open water event, giving him his first career Worlds medal. In the pool, he earned his way to the top of the podium in the 1500 free. Wellbrock became the first man to win the 10k and the 1500 free at a Worlds meet.
  • Matthew Wilson (AUS)- Wilson tied the World Record in 200 breast semis at Worlds before going on to take silver in the final. He earned his first Worlds gold as he swam the breast leg of Australia’s mixed 4×100 medley relay.

Previous Winners:

  • 2014 – Adam Peaty (GBR)
  • 2015 – Mitch Larkin (AUS)
  • 2016 – Masato Sakai (JPN)
  • 2017 – Zane Grothe (USA)
  • 2018 – James Wilby (GBR)
  • 2019 – Andrei Minakov (RUS)

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4 years ago

His first junior WC was already in 2017, where he earned individual silver and bronze

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
4 years ago

I think Wellbrock’s breakout year was 2018.
As for this year:
No 1500 free PB.
PB in 800 free, but failed to make the final at WC.
10k World gold can arguably count as a breakout, but I have to point out he already won all 10ks he participated last year, beating big names such as Ferry Weertman and Kristof Rosovszky, so it’s fair to say he already had the ability to win WC in 2018, and just didn’t have the chance until this year.

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
4 years ago

Good points and I think that, for instance, Shane Casas could deserve a mention, but when he’ll win the gold medal at Tokyo, no doubt he’ll be awarded at the end of 2020😉

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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