2021 Russian Olympic Trials: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


Olympic spots will be on the line in the women’s 200 free, 200 IM and 1500 free, along with the men’s 200 fly, during the fourth of seven finals sessions from the 2021 Russian Olympic Trials in Kazan.

We’ll also see semi-finals in the stacked men’s 100 free, the women’s 200 fly and the men’s 200 breast, with the men’s 800 free relay closing things out.

Among those in the hunt to make the Olympic team who haven’t done so yet are Veronika Andrusenko in the women’s 200 free, youngster Anastasia Sorokina in the women’s 200 IM, along with a wide open men’s 200 fly field.

Anastasia Kirpichnikova is the big favorite in the women’s mile after dropping a big best time to qualify for the team in the 400 free on Sunday.

The men’s 100 free semis brings a lot of intrigue after Kliment Kolesnikov broke 48 seconds in the prelims, while Vladimir Morozov will need a big swim just to make the final eight for tomorrow. Morozov, a two-time Olympian, qualified eighth out of the prelims in 49.01, and split 49.23 with a relay exchange on Day 1.

Day 4 Finals Live Stream

Men’s 100 Free Semi-Finals

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov, 47.60
  2. Vladislav Grinev, 47.85
  3. Vladimir Morozov, 48.00
  4. Andrei Minakov, 48.02
  5. Ivan Girev, 48.41
  6. Alexander Shchegolev, 48.50
  7. Andrey Zhilkin, 48.58
  8. Mikhail Vekovishchev, 48.70

It was a tantalizing couple of heats in the men’s 100 free semi-finals, as Russia now occupies four of the five fastest swimmers in the world this season.

The first semi saw Vladimir Morozov get out to the early lead in 22.66, and although he was run down by Vladislav Grinev at the end, it was a promising performance for Morozov. Grinev came home in 25.01 to touch first in 47.85, making him the third-fastest swimmer in the world for 2020-21, while Morozov got out in 22.66 and held on for a final time of 48.00, tying him with Hungarian Kristof Milak for fourth in the world.

This was an encouraging result for Morozov after splitting 49.2 in the relay on Day 1 and going 49.01 in this morning’s prelims.

Kliment Kolesnikov followed up his 47.7 prelim swim by resetting his personal best again in the semis, recording splits of 22.87/24.73 to clock 47.60. Andrei Minakov, the only swimmer who has been faster than Kolesnikov this season by virtue of his 47.57 in October, clocked 48.02 for fourth overall, also closing sub-25 in 24.88.

20-year-old Ivan Girev neared his 2017 best time (48.33) in 48.41 for fifth, as it required an elite 48.70 just to make it back into the championship final.

2020-21 World Rankings

  1. Andrei Minakov (RUS), 47.57
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 47.60
  3. Vladislav Grinev (RUS), 47.85
  4. Vladimir Morozov (RUS) / Kristof Milak (HUN), 48.00

It may well have been the swan song for veteran Danila Izotov, who narrowly missed the semis in ninth (49.05).

Women’s 200 Free Final

  1. Veronika Andrusenko, 1:57.97
  2. Anastasia Guzhenkova, 1:58.54
  3. Anna Egorova, 1:58.77

Russian Record holder Veronika Andrusenko used a 29.37 final 50 to pull away from a tight field and win the women’s 200 freestyle in a time of 1:57.97, falling just under seven-tenths shy of the Olympic qualifying time of 1:57.28.

Andrusenko, 30, set the national record of 1:55.08 at the 2017 World Championships, where she placed fourth individually, and is a two-time Russian Olympian. While this doesn’t automatically qualify her for the Games (she also missed in the 400 free, placing third), there’s a chance she’ll be added as a relay-only swimmer.

Anastasia Guzhenkova, the second-fastest Russian ever at 1:56.77, took second in 1:58.54, holding off 400 free winner Anna Egorova (1:58.77). After setting a new national record in the 400, Egorova was well off her 1:57.58 best set in December.

Men’s 200 Fly Final

  • Russian Record: 1:54.31, Nikolay Skvortsov (2008)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:56.48
  1. Alexander Kudashev, 1:55.40
  2. Aleksandr Pribytok, 1:56.92
  3. Egor Pavlov, 1:57.14

Alexander Kudashev executed under pressure in the men’s 200 fly final, extending his slight lead at the 150 with a 30.42 last length to clock a time of 1:55.40, getting him well under the FINA ‘A’ cut while also taking down his personal best time.

Kudashev, the third-fastest Russian ever, takes down his old PB of 1:55.63 set in winning the 2019 World University Games, and qualifies for his first Olympic team. At the 2016 Trials, he notably finished fourth in the final, more than three seconds off his best time.

Aleksandr Pribytok and Egor Pavlov were a clear second and third at the 150, and although both faded home in 31-plus, it was Pribytok who got to the wall second in 1:56.92, with Pavlov in at 1:57.14 for third. The two swimmers own respective personal bests of 1:56.16 and 1:56.81.

Two other swimmers, Petr Zhikharev (1:57.80) and Vadim Klimenischev (1:57.83) also cracked 1:58 in fourth and fifth, with Zhikharev’s swim a new best.

Women’s 200 Fly Semi-Finals

  1. Svetlana Chimrova, 2:09.25
  2. Aleksandra Sabitova, 2:09.67
  3. Anastasia Markova, 2:11.96
  4. Sofia Chichaikina, 2:15.14
  5. Ksenia Nanarokova, 2:16.27
  6. Natalia Nagibina, 2:17.10
  7. Asia Salikhyanova, 2:17.14
  8. Daria Rogozhinova / Lada Bragina, 2:17.17

Three women appear to be miles ahead of the rest of the field in the women’s 200 fly, as Anastasia Markova cruised to an easy win in the first semi and Svetlana Chimrova and Aleksandra Sabitova annihilated the second heat.

Markov, 16, owns a best time of 2:10.87, and topped the first semi-final by over three seconds in 2:11.96.

In the second semi it was an impressive showing from Chimrova (2:09.25) and Sabitova (2:09.67) to qualify first and second, with Sabitova taking out her previous best of 2:12.33.

The national record holder at 2:07.33, this is Chimrova’s fastest swim since the FINA Champions Series in January 2020 (2:09.17). Having already qualified for the Olympic team in the 100 fly, she likely just needs to earn the win tomorrow to swim the event at the Games, regardless of whether or not she hits the 2:08.43 ‘A’ cut.

Men’s 200 Breast Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 2:06.12, Anton Chupkov (2019)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.35
  1. Dmitriy Balandin, 2:08.42
  2. Anton Chupkov, 2:08.54
  3. Kirill Prigoda, 2:08.84
  4. Aleksandr Zhigalov, 2:10.24
  5. Alexander Palatov, 2:10.59
  6. Rustam Gadirov, 2:10.89
  7. Denis Petrashov, 2:11.61
  8. Danil Semyaninov, 2:13.27

Reigning world champion and world record holder Anton Chupkov did what he does best in the second semi-final of the men’s 200 breast, cruising through the early stages of the race before turning it on at the end, splitting 32.58/32.17 down the last 100 to win the heat easily in 2:08.54.

However, it was Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin claiming the top seed for tomorrow’s final (international swimmers are allowed to race the ‘A’ finals here), running down Kirill Prigoda (2:08.84) to win the first semi in 2:08.42.

That marks the fastest swim since the 2019 World Championships for Balandin, who is the defending Olympic gold medalist in the event.

Chupkov and Prigoda currently rank fourth and fifth in the world this season, having both hit 2:07s in late 2020, and have already qualified for the Olympic team by virtue of their finishes in the 100 breast.

Aleksandr Zhigalov (2:10.24) edged under his PB for fourth, while a potential challenger in tomorrow’s final could be Alexander Palatov, who qualifies fifth in 2:10.59 but owns a relatively recent best of 2:08.70 from 2019.

Back in seventh, Denis Petrashov reset his Kyrgyzstani Record by .04 in 2:11.61.

Women’s 200 IM Final

  • Russian Record: 2:09.56, Viktoriya Andreyeva (2016)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.56
  1. Anastasia Sorokina, 2:13.12
  2. Alexandra Denisenko, 2:13.79
  3. Maria Astashkina, 2:14.05

16-year-old Anastasia Sorokina was solid on all four strokes as she picks up the victory in the women’s 200 IM, registering a time of 2:13.12 which falls just shy of her Russian Junior Record set in the semi-finals (2:12.90).

Sorokina has now swept the women’s medley events here in Kazan, though she’s failed to hit the FINA ‘A’ standard in either, falling just over half a second shy here.

It was breaststroker Maria Temnikova who actually led the field at the 150, following a quick 36.51 breast split, but she was mowed down by four swimmers on the freestyle, with Alexandra Denisenko (2:13.79) and Maria Astashkina (2:14.05) taking second and third, and 400 IM runner-up Irina Krivonogova (2:14.36) closing the fastest in 31.19 to steal fourth from Temnikova (2:14.52).

Women’s 1500 Free Final

  1. Anastasia Kirpichnikova, 15:58.98
  2. Alexandra Khailova, 16:38.77
  3. Yana Kurtseva, 16:55.28

Anastasia Kirpichnikova delivered the type of dominant performance we’re accustomed to see from Katie Ledecky, as she was lapping swimmers left and right on the way to a massive victory in the women’s 1500 freestyle.

The 20-year-old Kirpichnikova was about two seconds off her national record pace for most of the race, ultimately trailing off at the end to finish in a time of 15:58.98, 5.8 seconds shy of her lifetime best.

Kirpichnikova became the first Russian women ever under 16:00 in December when she reset the National Record in 15:53.18, a time that also ranks her fourth in the world this season. Prior to that swim, the record had stood at 16:07.94 from Anastasia Ivanenko since 2007.

This adds a second event to Kirpichnikova’s Olympic program after placing second in the 400 free earlier in the meet.

Alexandra Khailova took second, almost 40 seconds back, in 16:38.77, three seconds off her personal best time.

Men’s 4×200 Free Relay Final

  • Russian Record: 6:59.15 (2009)
  1. Moscow, 7:12.21
  2. Republic of Tatarstan, 7:16.14
  3. St. Petersburg, 7:18.81

Moscow won the men’s 800 free relay by almost four seconds in 7:12.21, with all four men splitting under 1:49.

Daniil Shatalov led off in 1:48.08, and Mikhail Dovgalyuk (1:47.50) and Nikolay Snegirev (1:47.79) both split under 1:48 swimming second and fourth.

Aleksandr Krasnykh led off the runner-up Tatarstan team in 1:47.21, after placing fourth in the individual 200 free in 1:45.88, and the fastest leg in the entire event came from backstroke ace Evgeny Rylov, who led off for sixth-place Moscow Region.

Rylov unloaded a massive personal best time of 1:46.51, destroying his previous PB of 1:51.07 set in October. This performance puts Rylov’s name in the hat of swimmers in contention to race the 800 free relay at the Olympics, at least in the prelims, especially given the fact that he’s already qualified for Tokyo and any relay-only swimmers won’t be added until after the Trials.

Though it is an elite time from Rylov, getting under the FINA ‘A’ cut by half a second, it still would’ve only placed seventh in the individual 200 free final on Monday.

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1 year ago

So Kolesnikov DNS in the 200 back.

1 year ago

Can the Russian men beat the Americans in all three relays?

Last edited 1 year ago by Swimfan
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

Russia has no olympic gold since 1996, so even one relay gold would be a huge sensation

Reply to  RusFed
1 year ago

Russia has disappointed on the biggest stages many times…will this be their year?

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

That’d be hilarious.

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

I think they can medal in all three. Where the usa stands remains to be seen. I’d predict Russia gets one medal of each gold silver bronze.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

I think they will at least win three medals, like what they did in Gwangju. I’ll wait until the trials of other countries to judge their gold chances. And I won’t count out Australia and GB so early.

1 year ago

Crazy depth for Russia in men’s 200 free. They could rest their top 4 guys and still VERY easily make the 800 free relay final in Tokyo

Reply to  AnEn
1 year ago

Wait till you see the depth of the Aussie team after their trials.

1 year ago

To date, the Australian men 4x100free in March 2012 going into London remains the most impressive a relay has looked going into a championship meet outside of the suit era.

I think the calculations at that time were that their flat starts added to sub-3:10 at a time when the fastest textile relay ever swum was 3:11 flat.

Ahead of tomorrow’s final, let that be a benchmark of how far this event has progressed in the last 9 years (and how strong this Russian quartet really is), as well as a warning of what could happen to a team that looks very strong on paper.

Reply to  John26
1 year ago

Think I was wrong on the sub 3:10, I think flat start added to 3:11low but my point still stands

tea rex
1 year ago

I’m excited for the fast swimming, and really want to get hyped for an Olympic matchup. But with the IOC giving basically a strongly-worded letter to punish state-sponsored doping, I have a hard time believing Russia will field 4 clean swimmers on a relay.
I’d like to think it’s a clean race – but it’s hard to believe there’s no cheating when even Efimova is a swimmer in good standing.

Reply to  tea rex
1 year ago

It won’t be a clean race regardless of whether Russia is allowed to compete or not.

Corn Pop
Reply to  tea rex
1 year ago

Efimova had one DHEA positive . 7 5 years ago . She is usually somewhere on a pink flamingo in California so seemingly available for testing. I mean how far can the pink flamingo go in Gavin’s World?

1 year ago

You guys can dream all you want but the 4x100Fr world record is not gonna fall. The textile world record will fall either for the USA (most probably) or Russia. But the 2008 world will stay…

But if the 2008 world record somehow falls…I will eat my shoe

Reply to  GrameziPT
1 year ago

Why not eat both shoes? Your remaining shoe will be rendered useless if you only eat one.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dee
1 year ago

Have fun picking your best four for the 4×1 & 4×2 relays on the day, Russian coaches!

1 year ago

1:46.51 for Rylov

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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