2021 Russian Olympic Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first of seven finals sessions from the 2021 Russian Olympic Trials will be action-packed, with a total of 12 events on the slate, including both semis and finals in three stroke 50 (non-Olympic) events.

The first opportunity for Olympic qualification will be on the line in the men’s 400 IM, men’s 400 free and women’s 400 IM as well. If a swimmer places first or second in an Olympic event and is under the FINA ‘A’ cut, they’ll automatically earn a spot on the team for Tokyo.

For a recap of this morning’s prelims, click here.

You can watch today’s final session live on YouTube below:

Women’s 50 Breast Semi-Finals

  1. Yuliya Efimova, 30.70
  2. Nika Godun, 30.75
  3. Tatiana Belonogoff, 31.02
  4. Evgeniia Chikunova, 31.12
  5. Julia Beznosova, 31.43
  6. Elena Bogomolova, 31.59
  7. Maria Temnikova, 31.65
  8. Ralina Gilyazova, 31.67

Yuliya Efimova was .05 quicker than she was in the prelims, claiming the top spot into tonight’s women’s 50 breast final in 30.70 from the first semi.

Nika Godun, who led the way this morning in 30.56, won the second semi in 30.75 for second overall. Godun’s morning swim marked his first sub-31, and also ranked her fifth in the world this season.

Men’s 50 Back Semi-Finals

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov, 24.25
  2. Grigory Tarasevich, 24.76
  3. Mark Nikolaev, 24.80
  4. Nikita Ulyanov, 25.04
  5. Sergey Fesikov, 25.06
  6. Pavel Samusenko, 25.14
  7. Nikolay Zuev, 25.24
  8. Pavel Tatarenko, 25.27

50 back world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov asserted himself as the man to beat in this morning’s prelims, clocking a 24.60 to rank first in the world in 2020-21, and he improved that down to 24.25 in the semis.

That time falls just a quarter-second shy of his 24.00 world record, and ties his second-fastest performance ever.

Grigory Tarasevich won the first semi-final in 24.76 to qualify second, not far off his best time of 24.64, and former Grand Canyon University swimmer Mark Nikolaev joined them sub-25 in 24.80 for third.

Women’s 50 Back Semi-Finals

  1. Marina Kravchenko, 28.22
  2. Anastasia Fesikova, 28.26
  3. Alexandra Kurilkina, 28.69
  4. Elizaveta Agapitova, 28.83
  5. Elizaveta Chmykhova, 28.97
  6. Daria K. Ustinova, 28.98
  7. Valeria Egorova, 29.26
  8. Ekaterina Kuznetsova, 29.40

It was the youngster Marina Kravchenko (28.22) edging out veteran Anastasia Fesikova (28.26) in the women’s 50 back semis, as Kravchenko resets her best time of 28.40 set at the 2019 Russian Championships.

Daria Vaskina, the 2019 World Championship bronze medalist in this event, has notably opted not to compete in the non-Olympic event here, and the same goes for Maria Kameneva. The two of them produced respective times of 27.51 and 27.66 in 2019.

Men’s 400 IM Final

  • Russian Record: 4:11.50, Ilya Borodin (2020)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 4:15.84
  1. Ilya Borodin, 4:11.17
  2. Maxim Stupin, 4:14.20
  3. Alexander Osipenko, 4:16.57

Flirting with his national record pace the entire way, Ilya Borodin got the job done, setting a new Russian and Junior World Record while being the first swimmer to punch his ticket to the 2021 Olympic Games.

Borodin charged down the final length for a time of 4:11.17, taking down his previous Russian and Junior World mark of 4:11.50 set in October. Borodin maintains his place as the second-fastest swimmer in the world this season after Daiya Seto went 4:09.02 today at the Japanese Trials.

Borodin, the silver medalist in this event at the 2019 World Juniors, turned 18 in February.

Also earning an Olympic berth was Maxim Stupin, who took more than a second off his best time to place second in 4:14.20, putting him well under the ‘A’ cut of 4:15.84.

Alexander Osipenko, who set his best time of 4:16.35 back in 2015, narrowly missed that for third in 4:16.57.

Women’s 100 Fly Semi-Finals

  1. Arina Surkova, 57.76
  2. Svetlana Chimrova, 58.25
  3. Aleksandra Sabitova, 58.53
  4. Anastasia Markova, 59.28
  5. Daria Klepikova, 59.56
  6. Lydia Nechitaylova, 1:00.08
  7. Anastasia Zhuravleva, 1:00.12
  8. Sofia Spodarenko, 1:00.80

It was a personal best showing for Arina Surkova in the women’s 100 fly semi-finals, as the 22-year-old used her early speed to get out ahead of the field before coming into the wall in 57.76, .02 under her old best of 57.78 from the 2019 FINA World Cup.

If Surkova can replicate that performance tomorrow (and be in the top two), she’ll book a spot on her first Olympic team.

National record holder Svetlana Chimrova won the second semi to claim Lane 5 for tomorrow’s final in 58.25, with up-and-comer Aleksandra Sabitova third in 58.53. Sabitova owns a best of 58.18.

Men’s 400 Free Final

  • Russian Record: 3:43.45, Nikita Lobintsev (2008)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 3:46.78
  1. Martin Malyutin, 3:45.92
  2. Alexander Egorov, 3:46.17
  3. Anton Nikitin, 3:48.76

Martin Malyutin used his patented closing speed to run down early leader Alexander Egorov and win the men’s 400 freestyle in a time of 3:45.92, earning his first Olympic berth.

Malyutin came into the meet with a best time of 3:46.67, just over a tenth faster than the FINA ‘A’ cut of 3:46.78, but he trumped that time tonight thanks to a monster negative split.

Flipping fourth at the 200 in 1:54.18, Malyutin charged home in 1:51.74 – including a 54.45 final 100 – to run down Egorov and set a new best time. He now ranks fifth in the world for 2020-21.

Egorov also set a new PB in placing second and getting on the Olympic team, clocking 3:46.17 to mark his first time under 3:47. Egorov had previously been 3:47.36, done at the 2019 World Juniors where he won the bronze medal.

Anton Nikitin snared third in 3:48.76, just over a second off his best, while Aleksandr Krasnykh, who has represented Russia in this event at the last few World Championships and 2016 Olympics, was back in fifth in 3:50.79.

Women’s 400 IM Final

  • Russian Record: 4:36.25, Yana Martynova (2008)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 4:38.53
  1. Anastasia Sorokina, 4:43.44
  2. Irina Krivonogova, 4:43.95
  3. Victoria Starostina, 4:48.05

Despite no women hitting the FINA ‘A’ cut, it was still a breakthrough performance from 16-year-old Anastasia Sorokina, who took down the Russian Junior Record in a time of 4:43.44.

The previous record, set in 1984 by Yelena Dendeberova, stood at 4:43.78. Sorokina also broke Dendeberova’s record in the 200 IM in 2018.

Russia recognizes junior records for girls 16 and under and boys 18 and under. Sorokina will turn 17 in June.

Sorokina’s swim was a sizeable best time, going well under her 4:46.35 from the 2018 European Juniors, as she pulled away from Irina Krivonogova on the breaststroke leg and held her off on freestyle.

Krivonogova also went well under her best time, touching in 4:43.95 to erase her 4:45.23 from back in 2017.

Men’s 100 Breast Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 58.83, Anton Chupkov (2020)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 59.93
  1. Kirill Prigoda, 59.43
  2. Alexander Palatov, 59.61
  3. Anton Chupkov / Danil Semyaninov, 59.87
  4. Dmitriy Balandin, 1:00.10
  5. Evgenii Somov, 1:00.11
  6. Alexander Zhigalov, 1:00.17
  7. Kirill Strelnikov, 1:00.40

After qualifying just seventh out of the heats, Kirill Prigoda threw down the top time of the men’s 100 breast semis in 59.43 to slot himself into eighth in the 2020-21 world rankings.

Prigoda, who has had back-to-back top-five finishes in this event at the LC World Championships, owns a best of 59.05 from 2017.

Alexander Palatov took second to Prigoda in Semi 2 in 59.61, going under his previous best of 59.89 set in October.

Anton Chupkov, who set the Russian Record of 58.83 last year, tied with Danil Semyaninov in the first semi in 59.87 for third overall. Semyaninov’s swim marks his first time sub-1:00.

Evgenii Somov, who left the Men’s NCAA Championships early to compete here, qualified sixth in 1:00.11, and appears to have more in the tank after posting the fastest back-half split in the field of 31.10.

With four men under the FINA ‘A’ cut in the semis, tomorrow’s final will surely be a competitive one with only two Olympic spots available.

Women’s 50 Breast Final

  1. Yuliya Efimova, 30.59
  2. Tatiana Belonogoff, 30.78
  3. Nika Godun, 30.97

Yuliya Efimova gets her meet started on the right foot with a victory in the women’s 50 breast, claiming a tight battle with Tatiana Belonogoff and Nika Godun in 30.59.

Efimova’s swim moves her into sixth in the world this season, with Godun’s prelim mark of 30.56 sitting fifth.

Belonogoff was the runner-up in 30.78, marking his first time under 31 seconds. Her previous best stood at 31.00 from the Russian National Swimming Cup in October.

Belonogoff notably used to represent Great Britain internationally before changing her sporting citizenship last year.

Godun was third in 30.97, and youngster Evgeniia Chikunova, who is expected to challenge Efimova later in the meet in the 200 breast, took fourth in 31.19, with her best standing at 30.81.

Women’s 50 Back Final

  1. Anastasia Fesikova, 28.00
  2. Marina Kravchenko, 28.20
  3. Elizaveta Chmykhova, 28.51

Anastasia Fesikova moves into fifth in the world this season with her victory in the women’s 50 backstroke, clocking 28.00 to beat out Marina Kravchenko (28.20).

Fesikova was the 2011 world champion in this event, and set the Russian Record of 27.23 at the 2018 European Championships.

Kravchenko lowers her best time for the second time this session, brining her 28.40 from 2019 down to 28.22 in the semis before slicing .02 more off here.

Men’s 50 Back Final

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov, 24.08
  2. Grigory Tarasevich, 24.66
  3. Pavel Samusenko, 24.88

Kliment Kolesnikov dropped one of the fastest swims of all-time in winning the men’s 50 back, clocking 24.08 to fall less than a tenth off his world record of 24.00.

Kolesnikov’s swims ties for the fourth-fastest in history.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 50 Backstroke

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 24.00 – 2018
  2. Liam Tancock (GBR), 24.04 – 2009
  3. Camille Lacourt (FRA), 24.07 – 2010
  4. Liam Tancock (GBR) / Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 24.08 – 2009/2021

Grigory Tarasevich was .02 off his best time to take second in 24.66, and Pavel Samusenko cracked 25 for the first time to steal third in 24.88, edging out Mark Nikolaev (24.92).

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay Final

  • Russian Record: 3:09.52, 2009
  1. Moscow, 3:14.62
  2. St. Petersburg, 3:15.19
  3. Novosibirsk Region, 3:19.83

The Moscow team roared to the win in the 400 free relay, with an all-star team comprised of Mikhail Dovgalyuk (49.08), Vladimir Morozov (49.23), Vladislav Grinev (47.60) and Kolesnikov (48.71) finishing in a time of 3:14.62.

The split for Grinev is encouraging for his individual 100 free later on, while Morozov’s leaves something to be desired. Kolesnikov’s was solid considering he was just out of the 50 back final.

Alexander Shchegolev led off St. Petersburg in a big best time of 48.28, which makes him a big factor in the individual 100, and Andrei Minakov split 47.94 which is a good sign moving forward as well.

The other notable leg came from Evgeny Rylov, who led off fourth-place Moscow Region in 48.25, getting under his best of 48.31 from the 2019 Worlds.

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Former Big10
3 years ago

100 breast final will be great. Think there will be 2 58’s and a couple 59.0-.2.

3 years ago

Anybody know where Belousova from TA&M is? Not competing?

Irish Ringer
3 years ago

Yuliya looking good so far. I’m thinking a 1:04.5 later in the 100.

Reply to  Irish Ringer
3 years ago

After going 30.5 in a 50? I doubt it

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Irish Ringer
3 years ago

In another place, Pilato swam two 29s on the same day.

3 years ago

Dovgalyuk & Shchegolev with 100 PBs, Malyutin with a 400 PB… The Russian 4×2 looks to be in rude health. Krasnykh’s 400 a bit of a worry.

Sakura Sakura
3 years ago

Shoma Sato swam his best time -59.18 in semi final yesterday. I need to stay up late to watch the final- men 100 BR and women 100 fly-Rikako Ikee had a good comeback race and moving to the final. I think she is ranking 2-3rd in the final.

3 years ago

Impressive times for Rylov and Shchegolev. Also solid times for Grinev and Minakov. Morozov on the other hand, didn’t look good…I don’t see him qualifying in the 100 free at all.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  KnifeSmile
3 years ago

Looks like Vlad even has some trouble qualifying for the relay. Maybe his best chance to make the team is the 50 free?

3 years ago

Props to Kolesnikov for splitting a 48.71 just 10 minutes after the 50 back

3 years ago

I see Balandin in there, so the Russian Olympic Trials are open to non-Russians? I assume he would not be eligible for the A-final of the 100 breast, though.

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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