2021 Russian Olympic Trials: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Day 5 from Kazan will feature finals in the men’s 100 free, 800 free, and 200 breast, along with the women’s 200 fly, plus semi-final rounds in the men’s 200 back and 200 IM, and the women’s 100 free and 200 breast.

The marquee event of the night has to be the men’s 100 free, where four men come in having been 48-flat or faster this season. Kliment Kolesnikov (47.60), Vladislav Grinev (47.85) and Vladimir Morozov (48.00) all swam their fastest times of 2020-21 in the semi-finals, while Andrei Minakov, who holds the world’s #1 ranking at 47.57, was 48.02 last night.

The loaded field will also include Ivan Girev, who is back on top form after sweeping the 100 and 200 freestyle back at the 2017 World Juniors. He dropped a best time and qualified for the Olympic team in the 200 free, so a sub-48 swim from him wouldn’t be a shock either (best time of 48.33, semi-finals swim of 48.41).

Also of note is that Kolesnikov opted to drop the 200 backstroke this morning, avoiding what would’ve been a difficult double tonight.

The world’s best male 200 breaststroker, Anton Chupkov, headlines that event tonight, as he’ll go head-to-head with Kirill Prigoda for the second time this week after Prigoda got the better of Chupkov in the 100 breast.

Day 5 Finals Live Stream

Men’s 800 Free Final

  • Russian Record: 7:46.05, Yuri Prilukov (2009)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 7:54.31
  1. Alexander Egorov, 7:48.25
  2. Ilya Druzhinin, 7:53.92
  3. Ilia Sibirtsev, 7:55.48

Alexander Egorov took control early in the final of the men’s 800 freestyle, opening up a three-second lead at the 400m mark before holding all of his 50s sub-30 the rest of the way to add a second event to his Olympic program.

Egorov finished in a time of 7:48.25, taking almost four seconds off his previous best time (7:52.04) and six seconds under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 7:54.31. With his performance, Egorov takes over the #3 spot in the world this season, trailing only Gregorio Paltrinieri (7:41.96) and Gabriele Detti (7:46.58) of Italy.

Ilya Druzhinin used a strong 57.33 final 100 to pull away from Anton Nikitin and Ilia Sibirtsev and claim second in 7:53.92, getting under the FINA ‘A’ standard to book a second straight Olympic appearance.

Sibirtsev, the second-fastest Russian ever with his 7:48.05 swim from the 2019 World Juniors, was back in third in 7:55.48, with Nikitin fading to fourth in 7:57.18.

Men’s 200 Breast Final

  • Russian Record: 2:06.12, Anton Chupkov (2019)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.35
  1. Anton Chupkov, 2:08.31
  2. Dmitriy Balandin, 2:08.85
  3. Kirill Prigoda, 2:09.77

Although they both finished well off their personal best times, Anton Chupkov and Kirill Prigoda secured a second Olympic event in Tokyo after going 1-3 in the men’s 200 breast, with Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin in the second position.

Chupkov sat back in seventh at the 50, and moved through the field with back-half splits of 32.71/32.50 to earn the win in 2:08.31, well off his world record of 2:06.12. The two-time world champion has been 2:07.32 this season, ranking him fourth in the world.

Balandin, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in this event, overtook Prigoda over the second 100, clocking 2:08.85, four-tenths off his semi-final performance (2:08.42).

Prigoda, who went a best time of 2:07.85 in October, was back in 2:09.77 for third, still over half a second under the ‘A’ standard.

After leading at the 100, Aleksandr Zhigalov faded with a 34.17 final 50 to take fourth in 2:10.28, while Alexander Palatov also cracked 2:11 in 2:10.96 for fifth.

Women’s 100 Free Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 53.45, Maria Kameneva (2019)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 54.38
  1. Maria Kameneva, 53.88
  2. Arina Surkova, 54.51
  3. Daria S. Ustinova, 54.67
  4. Daria Trofimova, 54.77
  5. Daria Surushkina, 54.82
  6. Elizaveta Klevanovich, 54.85
  7. Arina Openysheva, 55.11
  8. Veronika Andrusenko, 55.17

Just like she did in the prelims, Maria Kameneva closed like a freight train in the second semi-final of the women’s 100 free, splitting 27.42 on the way back for a time of 53.88 and the top seed into tomorrow’s final.

The Russian Record holder at 53.45, Kameneva’s swim marks her sixth time sub-54, and her first since 2019. She now ranks 16th in the event worldwide this season.

Arina Surkova, who, like Kameneva, has already qualified for the Olympic team, clipped her best time by 16 in 54.51 to finish second in the same semi, while Daria S. Ustinova (54.67) was the victor in the first semi-final to advance in third.

Daria Trofimova was fourth-fastest in 54.77, putting her within three-tenths of the Russian Junior Record.

Veronika Andrusenko, who had near misses qualifying for Tokyo in the 200 and 400 free, snuck into the ‘A’ final in eighth, clocking 55.17. Andrusenko, 30, hasn’t been on top form this week, but is the only female swimmer other than Kameneva to have broken 54 seconds (53.94 in 2014).

Men’s 200 Back Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 1:53.36, Evgeny Rylov (2018)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:57.50
  1. Evgeny Rylov, 1:55.34
  2. Grigory Tarasevich, 1:57.82
  3. Alexey Tkachev, 1:58.60
  4. Egor Dolomanov, 1:58.79
  5. Maxim Fofanov, 1:59.38
  6. Roman Larin, 2:00.18
  7. Nikita Tretyakov, 2:00.78
  8. Nikolay Zuev, 2:01.30

Evgeny Rylov looked effortless in qualifying first for the men’s 200 backstroke final by two and a half seconds, putting up a time of 1:55.34 to slide into second in the world rankings this season, sitting less than a tenth back of China’s Xu Jiayu (1:55.26).

The winner of the last two World Championship titles in this event, Rylov was the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, and also set the current European Record of 1:53.36 in 2018.

Grigory Tarasevich won the first semi-final in 1:57.82 to qualify second, ranking him inside the world’s top 20 this season. Tarasevich will look to be just over three-tenths quicker – 1:57.50 or better – in tomorrow’s final to qualify for the Olympics. He owns a best time of 1:57.07 from 2018, and was a 2016 Olympic semi-finalist in the 100 back.

Making his path a bit easier is the absence of Kliment Kolesnikov, who opted to scratch the event in favor of the 100 freestyle.

Alexey Tkachev, who came into the meet with a best time of 2:01.24, destroyed that in 1:58.60 to qualify third, while Egor Dolomanov (1:58.79) was just off his best time in fourth.

Women’s 200 Fly Final

  1. Svetlana Chimrova, 2:08.98
  2. Aleksandra Sabitova, 2:10.37
  3. Anastasia Markova, 2:10.93

The women’s 200 fly featured an incredibly young final, with five swimmers born in 2004 or later, but it was the field’s elder statesman, Svetlana Chimrova, getting the job done for the victory in 2:08.98.

The 24-year-old Chimrova and 17-year-old Aleksandra Sabitova were well ahead of the field most of the way, with Chimrova pulling ahead on the final 50 to touch first by well over a second.

Although Chimrova missed the ‘A’ cut of 2:08.43, she’ll likely have the opportunity to race this event at the Olympics after already qualifying in the 100 fly. The 2016 Olympian has been 2:07 in this event six times, but hasn’t done so since 2018.

Sabitova, who reset the Russian Junior Record in the semi-finals down to 2:09.67, fell off a bit on the last 50 for a final time of 2:10.37, holding off a hard-charging Anastasia Markova. Markova, 16, was .06 off her best time from October in 2:10.93.

Men’s 100 Free Final

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov, 47.31
  2. Andrei Minakov, 47.77
  3. Vladislav Grinev, 47.89

In what was one of the fastest domestic fields of all-time, three men broke 48 seconds in the men’s 100 free final, with Kliment Kolesnikov breaking the Russian Record in 47.31 in what was a wire-to-wire victory.

Kolesnikov led from the jump, flipping in 22.55 before pulling away from the other contenders down the second 50 in 24.76, with his final time lowering the previous National Record of 47.43 set by Vladislav Grinev in 2019.

In a tight race for second, Andrei Minakov and Vladimir Morozov turned just .03 apart at the 50, with Grinev trailing by a few tenths in 23.08. Grinev closed strong in 24.81, but Minakov held him off, clocking 47.77 to officially qualify for his first Olympic team.

Grinev, the World Championship bronze medalist in this event in 2019, misses out in third in 47.89.

Morozov fell to fourth in 48.18, while Alexander Shchegolev (48.24) and Ivan Girev (48.34) placed fifth and sixth in the elite field.

Kolesnikov takes over the top spot in the world this season, moving past Minakov’s 47.57 from October, while Grinev (47.85 in the semis) and Morozov (48.00 in the semis) sit third and tied for fourth.

Women’s 200 Breast Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 2:19.41, Yuliya Efimova (2013)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:25.52
  1. Evgeniia Chikunova, 2:23.00
  2. Alina Zmushka, 2:24.33
  3. Yuliya Efimova, 2:25.20
  4. Maria Temnikova, 2:25.63
  5. Maria Astashkina, 2:27.01
  6. Nika Godun, 2:27.55
  7. Tatiana Belonogoff, 2:28.51
  8. Daria Chikunova, 2:28.81

Evgeniia Chikunova comfortably claimed the top seed into tomorrow’s final in the women’s 200 breaststroke, flying by Alina Zmushka in the second semi with a 36.14 final 50 for a time of 2:23.00.

Chikunova, who owns a best of 2:21.07 from 2019, leads this year’s world rankings at 2:21.87.

Zmushka reset her Belarusian Record by over a second in 2:24.33, which also gets her under the FINA ‘A’ cut, while veteran Yuliya Efimova qualified third in 2:25.20.

Maria Temnikova, who will likely be a factor in the final after going 2:23.19 in October, easily won the first semi in 2:25.63 for fourth.

Men’s 200 IM Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 1:58.00, Ilya Borodin (2020)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.67
  1. Andrey Zhilkin, 1:58.92
  2. Alexander Osipenko, 1:59.01
  3. Ilya Borodin, 2:00.00
  4. Daniil Pasynkov, 2:01.51
  5. Eduard Valiakhmetov, 2:02.92
  6. Egor Suchkov, 2:02.98
  7. Andrey Maslov, 2:03.29
  8. Artyom Vorobyov, 2:03.60

Andrey Zhilkin narrowly held off Alexander Osipenko in the second semi of the men’s 200 IM, qualifying first for the final in a time of 1:58.92. Zhilkin was the fastest swimmer in the field on fly, back and breast (25.03/29.50/33.69), while Osipenko closed in 28.40 to make it close at the end.

Osipenko finished in 1:59.01 for a new best time, while Zhilkin owns a PB of 1:58.16 from the 2019 Worlds.

National Record holder and winner of the 400 IM earlier, Ilya Borodin won the first semi in 2:00.00, producing the fastest free split in the field (28.11) to advance third overall.

With all three capable of going under the FINA ‘A’ cut, tomorrow’s final should be a three-man barn-burner of a race, with Zhilkin and Osipenko still seeking an Olympic berth.

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay Final

  • Russian Record: 7:48.25 (2019)
  1. Sverdlovsk Region, 8:02.18
  2. St. Petersburg, 8:09.91
  3. KhMAO – Ugra, 8:13.08

Sverdlovsk Region topped the women’s 800 free relay by a wide margin in 8:02.18, with their strong team consisting of Daria Mullakaeva (2:00.17), Anastasia Kirpichnikova (2:00.76), Daria K. Ustinova (2:02.97) and Valeria Salamatina (1:58.28).

St. Petersburg snuck under 8:10 for second, with a 1:59.91 leg from Polina Nevmovenko, and Anastasia Guzhenkova led off in 1:59.40 for third-place KhMAO – Ugra.

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1 year ago

I really do not understand where all these predictions for US gold are coming from. Looking back the results ( 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 season) Russians 100 free swimmers are posted better times than US – on top of that Dressel has no noticeable time during the current season. On the other hand both Minakov and Kolesnikov are very young (19 and 20) so still time for significant improvement. 4×100 free relay is clearly for the Russian guys. Same for 4×200 and 4×100 medley relay although they might be seriously challenged by the Australian and the GB team respectively. US may get a silver and two bronzes in the men relays.

Reply to  Swimmka
1 year ago

If you add up the best four times for each team since 2019, you get US by about two tenths or so I think. Not enough to be big time favorites, but still slightly favored probably. Obviously US trials will give us more information

Reply to  OMS
1 year ago

Yep lets wait for the US and AUS trials….still a way to go yet!

Corn Pop
Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

Australia will miss the 400 bus . The 800 is still listed on the timetable.

Reply to  OMS
1 year ago

I think if you just add up best times since 2019, USA would be .71 ahead (46.96, 47.39, 47.61, 47.69) — plus some crazy depth. It should be a great race.

Reply to  OMS
1 year ago

That is exactly the issue : you compare the results from Two years ago and since than none of the US swimmers managed to be clause to that performance ( especially Dressel in the last week) . While Russians are continuously improving and having two rising youngsters who were not even in the “range” in 2019…Russian guys are clearly on an upward trend while US is rather downwards ( and definitely no new fresh blood at least not at the level as Russia ) and the Olympic Games are not so far away…

Corn Pop
Reply to  Swimmka
1 year ago

Nobody knows . Russia has the swims on the board & they are good . Let’s just appreciate this for now .
Does not hurt they are aesthetically pleasing .

Last edited 1 year ago by Corn Pop
1 year ago

Minakov is at an age where he could make another big drop between 2019 and 2020. We’ll wait to see his 100fly time, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he wasnt fully tapered this week

Chalmers > Dressel
Reply to  John26
1 year ago

my predictions: 50-low or 50.5 at least

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  John26
1 year ago

Sadly for him, it’s 2021.

1 year ago

Just a question obviously the swimmers can’t represent Russia as a nation. Who funds the swimmers Olympic Bids, who selects the relays? Is the Russian swimming body still allowed to play a role? Bit confused how it all works if their neutral athletes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Swimfan2021
Reply to  Swimfan2021
1 year ago

In practice, you won’t notice much difference aside from competing under the ROC name/flag and a non-anthem song. The federation still chooses the team, funds it, etc. Relays can still happen.

Most of the punishments as they are going to play out IRL will be suspending Russian officials from committees of different governing bodies, but as we’ve seen in the case of the World University Games, for example, they might return to their post. So, will they really be shut out for 2 years from the decision making process?

1 year ago

I highly doubt Kolesnikov will be able to replicate that at the Olympics. The Russian relay always looks great on paper, but they underperform at every major long course meet.

Reply to  David
1 year ago

They obviously didn’t underperform in 2018 European Championships and 2019 World Championships.

Reply to  David
1 year ago

He just went 47 three times, that is the exact formula for the olympics. How many 48.0s have medaled the past few years?

Reply to  Swimmer2
1 year ago

More like 47.8 but he was under that

1 year ago

Pretty easy swim for Zhilkin. Under 1:58 tomorrow?

Reply to  KnifeSmile
1 year ago

Zhilkin has one of the weirdest event profiles of any high level swimmer.

He’s versatile, but like in a way that you wouldn’t anticipate lol

1 year ago

You got to think 47.31 makes his 100free more impressive than his 100back

Mr Piano
Reply to  john26
1 year ago

If you look at the margins between Kilment’s performances this week and the wrs in the 100 and 100 free, I think his performances were both equally great.

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

If you take into account percentage off the wr then the 100 back is a little better

Reply to  john26
1 year ago

Lets be honest, most of us hold the 100free WR in higher regard than the 100back WR

1 year ago

So Russia now has a 47.3, 47.4, and 47.5 on the same relay, with the remaining swimmer being one of the more clutch relay performers of the past decade.

Reply to  hmmm
1 year ago

But can they swim in the relay? Can they compete as a neutral team?

tea rex
Reply to  Ger
1 year ago

Yes they can. No meaningful penalties for state-sanctioned doping.

1 year ago

400 free relay this Olympics is going to be such a great race. This Russian team is REALLY strong.

Reply to  ibelieve
1 year ago

All the mens relays are closer than they have been for a long time…exciting!

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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