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

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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).

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5 months ago

Hoping that Tarasevich can qualify in the 200, after going 52.9 in the 100 and not making the team it’d be nice for him to get a qualification here

Chalmers > Dressel
Reply to  Dudeman
5 months ago

Yeah he went sub 25 in the 50 as well , great swimmer

Last edited 5 months ago by Chalmers > Dressel
5 months ago

Efimova 3rd lol

Irish Ringer
Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
5 months ago

Wonder if she’s just getting old, not training as hard or a little of both. 2:24 is very slow for her.

Reply to  Irish Ringer
5 months ago

She has been on the world stage since she was 14-15 and she is now 29 so age might have a little do with it.

Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
5 months ago

Out of Melodnium.

5 months ago

Efimova missing the top 2!

Philip Johnson
5 months ago

Is Efimova still on the team in the 100 breast?

Troll in the Dungeon
Reply to  Philip Johnson
5 months ago

According to SwimSwam’s article on the Russian roster it looks like it.

5 months ago

lol welp let’s see if Lilly will make the 200

5 months ago

Queen Yulia out. I knew it. Sad. 🙁

5 months ago

Efimova shut out in the 200 breast…

5 months ago

If I recall correctly, Efimova was third at the Russia World Champs Trials in 2019 as well but was put on the team. She won gold at worlds. Will be interesting too see if they do the same thing here. But in defense, I think 2019 it was close but here it wasn’t.

Gen D
Reply to  Teamwiess
5 months ago

Wasn’t the situation that they sent Chikunova to Junior worlds and not worlds, which freed a spot for Efimova on the worlds team?

Last edited 5 months ago by Gen D
Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Gen D
5 months ago

Yeah, can’t really do that again to her with the world leading time, can they? Or can they? Who knows right? It may be that Maria Temnikova in the middle gets sent to junior worlds or something instead.

Last edited 5 months ago by Coach Mike 1952
Gen D
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
5 months ago

i really don’t see how this could apply in the context of the Olympics

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
5 months ago

*to the gulag or Siberia

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
5 months ago

Hope not! Maybe they do it anyway… but this would be so wrong.
Some can argue they gave both a chance to race at worlds in 2019 (Chikunova at junior worlds) but here it would be even more stupid to justify if they force Temnikova out of the Olympics

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
5 months ago

Maria Temnikova is already 26 years old though.

Andrei Vorontsov
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
5 months ago

She is 26 YOA

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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