2021 Russian Olympic Trials: Day 6 Finals Live Recap


The penultimate night of swimming from the 2021 Russian Olympic Trials will feature four individual finals, including another head-to-head showdown between current world #1 Evgeniia Chikunova and reigning two-time world champion Yuliya Efimova in the women’s 200 breaststroke.

We’ll also see another back-to-back world champion, Evgeny Rylov, race the men’s 200 backstroke, while an intriguing battle is brewing in the men’s 200 IM, with three men set to battle for two Olympic spots.

In the women’s 100 freestyle, Maria Kameneva is the clear favorite, but the question will be if anyone else can get under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 54.38.

Day 6 Finals Live Stream

Women’s 200 Breast Final

  • Russian Record: 2:19.41, Yuliya Efimova (2013)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:25.52
  1. Evgeniia Chikunova, 2:21.63
  2. Maria Temnikova, 2:22.76
  3. Yuliya Efimova, 2:24.16

16-year-old Evgeniia Chikunova pulled away from Maria Temnikova on the last 50 to win the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:21.63, improving her on her world-leading time of 2:21.87 set back in October.

The swim marks Chikunova’s second-fastest performance ever, only trailing her 2:21.07 from the 2019 European Juniors.

While it wasn’t a surprise to see Chikunova win, it was an unexpected sight to see Yuliya Efimova, the two-time reigning World Champion in the event, unable to step up and solidify an Olympic spot in this race.

Trailing Chikunova and Temnikova by a second at the 100m wall, Efimova had no answer, as Temnikova broke the 2:23-barrier for the first time to qualify for the Olympic team in 2:22.76.

Efimova, one of the few women who has been sub-2:20 in history, was a distant third in 2:24.16. The Olympic silver medalist in this event in 2016, Efimova will only be racing the 100 breast individually in Tokyo.

As Chikunova improves her world #1 time, Temnikova moves into the top 5 for the 2020-21 season, edging GBR’s Abbie Wood by .01 for fifth.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 Breast

View Top 26»

Belarusian Alina Zmushka had lowered her National Record in the semis down to 2:24.33, and led through the halfway mark here in 1:09.41 before fading to fifth in 2:26.41.

Men’s 200 Back Final

  • Russian Record: 1:53.36, Evgeny Rylov (2018)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:57.50
  1. Evgeny Rylov, 1:53.23
  2. Grigory Tarasevich, 1:57.54
  3. Alexey Tkachev, 1:58.36

Evgeny Rylov soared to a new European Record in the men’s 200 back final, blasting to a final time of 1:53.23 to lower his previous mark of 1:53.36 set at the 2018 Euros.

Rylov’s swim marks the seventh-fastest in history, while he remains the fifth-fastest performer of all-time.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 200 Back (LCM)

  1. Aaron Peirsol (USA), 1:51.92 – 2009
  2. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 1:52.51 – 2009
  3. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 1:52.86 – 2009
  4. Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:52.96 – 2011
  5. Aaron Peirsol (USA), 1:53.08 – 2009
  6. Mitch Larkin (USA), 1:53.17 – 2015
  7. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 1:53.23 – 2021
  8. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 1:53.26 – 2014
  9. Mitch Larkin (AUS), 1:53.34  – 2015
  10. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 1:53.36 – 2018

Compared to his previous record from 2018, Rylov was actually a tad slower at the 100, but was stronger coming home, specifically on the third 50 (splitting 28.72 here compared to 29.34 two years ago).

In second place, Grigory Tarasevich painfully missed the FINA ‘A’ cut by .04 in 1:57.54, leaving him off the Olympic roster.

Alexey Tkachev rounded out the podium in 1:58.36 for third, overtaking Nikolay Zuev (1:58.85) and Maksim Fofanov (1:59.09) late with a strong 29.66 final 50.

Women’s 200 Back Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 2:04.94, Anastasia Fesikova (2009)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.39
  1. Daria K. Ustinova, 2:11.32
  2. Anastasia Klyarovskaya, 2:12.19
  3. Irina Krivonogova, 2:14.75
  4. Anastasia Duplinskaya, 2:15.07
  5. Elizaveta Agapitova, 2:15.11
  6. Angelina Nikiforova, 2:15.25
  7. Anastasia Avdeeva, 2:15.35
  8. Renata Gaynullina, 2:16.20

Daria K. Ustinova established the top semi-final time in the women’s 200 back from the first heat, clocking 2:11.32 to lead the pack into tomorrow’s final.

Ustinova owns a best time of 2:06.92 from 2016.

Anastasia Klyarovskaya followed up by winning the second semi in 2:12.19, not far off her best of 2:11.81, to qualify second overall.

Men’s 200 IM Final

  • Russian Record: 1:58.00, Ilya Borodin (2020)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.67
  1. Andrey Zhilkin, 1:57.50
  2. Ilya Borodin, 1:59.35
  3. Daniil Pasynkov, 2:01.18

Andrey Zhilkin unloaded a wire-to-wire performance in the men’s 200 IM, out-splitting the field on three of the four 50s en route to breaking the Russian Record in 1:57.50.

The 26-year-old’s swim lowers the previous mark of 1:58.00, set by Ilya Borodin last year.

Zhilkin, who owned a previous best time of 1:58.16, makes the Olympic team with this swim, while Borodin was the runner-up in 1:59.35, giving him a second individual event in Tokyo.

Zhilkin now ranks in a tie for fourth in the world for 2020-21.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 IM

View Top 26»

Women’s 100 Free Final

  • Russian Record: 53.45, Maria Kameneva (2019)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 54.38
  1. Maria Kameneva, 53.56
  2. Arina Surkova, 54.41
  3. Elizaveta Klevanovich, 54.64

Maria Kameneva‘s back-half speed came through for her once again in the women’s 100 free final, closing in 27.60 pull away from Arina Surkova and win by over eight-tenths in 53.56.

That time falls just over a tenth shy of Kameneva’s Russian Record of 53.45, and marks her sixth time breaking 54 seconds. The 21-year-old slots into the 11th spot in the 2020-21 world rankings. Kameneva adds a second individual event in Tokyo after winning the 100 backstroke.

Surkova, who qualified for the Olympic team earlier by winning the 100 fly, snagged second in 54.41, taking a tenth off her PB while missing the FINA ‘A’ cut by .03.

Elizaveta Klevanovich clipped her best time as well in 54.64 in what was a tight race for third, with three more swimmers sub-55.

Men’s 100 Fly Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 50.83, Andrei Minakov (2019)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 51.96
  1. Mikhail Vekovishchev, 51.40
  2. Andrei Minakov, 51.86
  3. Alexander Sadovnikov, 52.09
  4. Daniil Pakhomov, 52.23
  5. Egor Kuimov, 52.24
  6. Roman Shevlyakov, 52.27
  7. Nikita Ulyanov, 52.52
  8. Petr Zhikharev, 52.55

Mikhail Vekovishchev established a personal best time of 51.40 in the first semi of the men’s 100 fly, setting him up to take a run at an Olympic berth in tomorrow’s final.

Vekovishchev, whose previous best stood at 51.56, qualified first into then final by almost half a second, with National Record holder Andrei Minakov the only other swimmer sub-52 in 51.86.

Behind those two it was a wild race to get into the final, with finishers three through 15 within eight-tenths of one another. It ended up taking 52.55 to get in, with 200 fly winner Alexander Kudashev (52.57) among the notables to miss, placing ninth. Also failing to make the final was Egor Pavlov, who finished 14th in 52.84 after having been a best time of 51.90 at the 2019 World Juniors.

Mixed 400 Medley Relay Final

  • Russian Record: 3:40.78 (2019)
  1. Moscow, 3:45.20
  2. St. Petersburg, 3:50.45
  3. Novosibirsk Region, 3:54.29

Moscow topped the mixed 400 medley relay by over five seconds in 3:45.20, led by Kliment Kolesnikov‘s 52.43 opening backstroke split. Kolesnikov was under two-tenths shy of his best time set in the individual event (52.24).

The team also consisted of Nika Godun (1:07.45), Svetlana Chimrova (58.18) and Vladislav Grinev (47.14). Grinev’s split is a blistering one, as he prepares for tomorrow’s 50 free after failing to qualify for the Olympics individually in the 100 free.

Kirill Prigoda had a noteworthy 59.35 breaststroke split for runner-up St. Petersburg (3:50.45).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
1 year ago

Kolesnikov 21.89 in 50 free prelim.

1 year ago

52.4 Kolesnikov – he’s been very consistent this week.
47.1 Grinev – right on target for him.

1 year ago

Tomorrow we will have the medley relays.. want to see what Rylov and Kolesnikov will throw

1 year ago

Imagine if the US had state relays at trials

Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

I wouldn’t want it at trials, but it would be fun to have it at Nationals. Maybe they could set it up by LSC. Especially for 18 and unders, this would be really fun.

1 year ago

Efimova not in the Olympics in her best event…. she didn’t look good in the 100 (faded at the end) and that was a precursor to her 200 shocking shutout (reminds me of Watanabe)… we’ll see if she can negotiate her way in like she did for Worlds 2 years ago…

1 year ago

Seems like Rylov was gunning for a 1:52, his immediate post race reaction didn’t look like he was happy. Most likely going to see the first 1:52 in a decade at the olympics which is exciting

1 year ago

Amazing swim from Zhilkin!

Reply to  KnifeSmile
1 year ago

Zhilkin’s got a unique skill set. How many guys are there who’s best event is the 200 IM and their 2nd event is the 50 Fly?

Andrew comes to mind but his 50 Fly isn’t his 2nd best race.

Reply to  Riccardo
1 year ago

Doubt there are many, but one that springs to mind is Alice Tait (Mills) on the womens side. World medallist 50fr & 200im in 2003, and a commonwealth medallist 50fl.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dee
NornIron Swim
Reply to  Riccardo
1 year ago

George Bovell had a pretty good career in the 2IM and 50 free.

Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

European record for rylov 1.53.2, Russia will (finally) get an olympic gold medalist since popov ?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

They have a shot in the 100 back, 4×100 free relay, and the 100 free as well.

Boring name
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

100 free ?!

Chalmers > Dressel
Reply to  Boring name
1 year ago


Breast stroker
Reply to  Boring name
1 year ago

*anton kupkov enters the chat*

Chalmers > Dressel
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

I feel that this will be their best olympics since 1996

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

Don’t forget the 4×100 medley and the 4×200 free

1 year ago

Not an Olympic medal contender though. — mike in dallas.

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

He’ll be fortunate to make the final on that form – 😉

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 …

Read More »