2021 RUSSIAN NATIONAL SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- April 3-9, 2021
- Palace of Water Sports, Kazan, Russia
- Prelims: 9:00 am local/2:00 am Eastern, Finals: 6:00 pm local/11:00 am Eastern
- LCM (50m)
- Russian Olympic Qualification Procedures
- Meet Central
- Start Lists/Results
- Live Stream (YouTube channel)
It’s the final day of what has been an exciting week-long showcase of Russia’s top swimmers at the Olympic Trials with Kazan, and there are six more individual finals left on the schedule.
We’ll see both the semis and finals for both genders in the 50 freestyle, with Kliment Kolesnikov (21.89) and Maria Kameneva (24.52) having paced this morning’s prelims, along with finals in the men’s 100 fly, women’s 200 back, women’s 800 free and the men’s 1500 free.
The biggest name having yet to qualify for the Games coming into the day is Vladimir Morozov, the two-time Olympian who has to be favored in the 50 free given his personal best time of 21.27. Though Morozov was fourth in the 100 free and could get added to the team, he’ll need to secure a top-two finish and be under the FINA ‘A’ cut (22.01) to be certain he’ll have a spot in Tokyo.
Morozov clocked 21.91, second to Kolesnikov, in the prelims.
In the women’s 50 free, Kameneva and Arina Surkova, both of whom have already made the team, are favored.
Mikhail Vekovishchev will look to punch his ticket to the Olympics in the men’s 100 fly, having qualified first out of the semi-finals, as will Ilia Sibirtsev in the men’s 1500. Both face competitive fields that include reigning World silver medalist Andrei Minakov (100 fly), and in the mile, Sibirtsev will have to overcome the two men who beat him head-to-head in the 800 free, Alexander Egorov and Ilya Druzhinin.
Daria K. Ustinova is the favorite in the women’s 200 back, but whether or not she’ll hit the FINA ‘A’ cut of 2:10.39 remains a question mark.
Day 7 Finals Live Stream
Men’s 50 Free Semi-Finals
- Russian Record: 21.27, Vladimir Morozov (2019)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 22.01
- Vladimir Morozov, 21.59
- Kliment Kolesnikov, 22.17
- Ilya Shevchenko, 22.18
- Ivan Kuzmenko, 22.22
- Evgeny Rylov, 22.28
- Pavel Samusenko, 22.34
- Alexander Varakin, 22.35
- Vladislav Grinev, 22.37
Vladimir Morozov asserted himself as the man to beat in the 50 freestyle, qualifying first by almost six-tenths in the semis in 21.59.
This performance moves Morozov into #1 in the world for the 2020-21 season, overtaking France’s Florent Manaudou (21.72).
Women’s 50 Free Semi-Finals
- Russian Record: 24.21, Maria Kameneva (2018)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 24.77
- Maria Kameneva, 24.33
- Arina Surkova, 24.70
- Rozaliya Nasretdinova, 25.16
- Daria S. Ustinova, 25.25
- Olesya Korchagina, 25.31
- Daria Tatarinova, 25.35
- Ekaterina Nikonova, 25.53
- Anastasia Serpionova, 25.57
Improving on her prelim swim by almost two-tenths, Maria Kameneva jumps two spots in the world rankings into seventh with a time of 24.33 in the women’s 50 free semis, putting her within striking distance of her 24.21 National Record in the final.
Arina Surkova (24.70) was .03 off her lifetime best in second, and will look to recreate a similar swim in the final to get under the ‘A’ cut of 24.77.
Men’s 100 Fly Final
- Russian Record: 50.83, Andrei Minakov (2019)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 51.96
Roman Shevlyakov blasted out to an early lead in the men’s 100 fly final, turning in 23.64 with three others lurking at 23.99, 24.00 and 24.01.
Down the stretch it was Andrei Minakov, the National Record holder, charging home in 27.17 to secure the victory in 51.17, earning him a second individual event at the Olympics after already qualifying in the 100 free.
The 19-year-old moves up from sixth to fourth in the world for 2020-21.
Also overtaking Shevlyakov on the second 50 was Mikhail Vekovishchev, who finished in a time of 51.46 to get a full half-second under the FINA ‘A’ standard and qualify for his first Olympic team. Vekovishchev had set a best time of 51.40 in the semis.
Shevlyakov fell to third in 51.99, still managing to hold off Petr Zhikharev (52.16) while breaking 52 seconds for the first time.
Women’s 200 Back Final
- Russian Record: 2:04.94, Anastasia Fesikova (2009)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.39
- Daria K. Ustinova, 2:10.82
- Anastasia Klyarovskaya, 2:12.40
- Renata Gaynullina, 2:13.15
Daria K. Ustinova claimed the lead from Anastasia Klyarovskaya on the third 50 and pulled away on the final lap, winning the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:10.82.
Ustinova’s time falls just over four-tenths short of the FINA ‘A’ cut, leaving her off the Olympic team after placing fourth in the event in Rio.
Klyarovskaya faded on the last 50 but held on for second in 2:12.40, six-tenths slower than her best time set in October (2:11.81).
Women’s 800 Free Final
- Russian Record: 8:22.65, Anastasia Kirpichnikova (2020)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 8:33.36
That swim marks a new personal best time for Egorova, improving on her 8:24.71 from the 2018 European Championships to move into fifth in the 2020-21 world rankings.
Kirpichnikova, who set the Russian Record of 8:22.65 in December, was half a second back in 8:24.84 for second, as both women add the event to their schedule in Tokyo.
Kirpichnikova will now race the 400, 800 and 1500 at the Olympics this summer, and Egorova will take on the 400 and 800.
Men’s 1500 Free Final
- Russian Record: 14:41.13, Yuri Prilukov (2008)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 15:00.99
2019 European Junior champion Kirill Martynychev jumped on it early in the men’s 1500, holding the lead for the majority of the race with Alexander Egorov sitting just behind, about a second back, most of the way.
Slowly but surely, Egorov was out-splitting Martynychev on the majority of the 50s, and claimed the lead at the 1200m mark, never looking back after that.
Egorov closed with a flourish to establish a new best time by nine seconds and become the fifth Russian man under the 15:00-barrier, clocking 14:57.72 to add a third event to his Olympic program. Additionally, Egorov now ranks third in the world for 2020-21.
In a mad dash to the wall, Martynychev snuck under the FINA ‘A’ cut by over eight-tenths of a second in 15:00.12 to get on the Olympic roster, lowering his previous best of 15:01.59.
Ilya Druzhinin, a 2016 Olympian in this event and the only Russian (prior to Egorov) to break 15:00 since the 2008 Olympics, was third in 15:05.48, and Alexander Stepanov (15:11.03) stepped up to take fourth.
Ilia Sibirtsev was well off his best for fifth, clocking 15:25.03.
Men’s 50 Free Final
- Russian Record: 21.27, Vladimir Morozov (2019)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 22.01
Vladimir Morozov stepped up and performed under pressure, executing the second-fastest swim of his career to dominate the men’s 50 free final in a time of 21.41, officially qualifying for a third Olympic team.
The 28-year-old flashed a huge smile and held up three fingers to the camera immediately after the race. He’s now the fastest swimmer in the world this season by three-tenths of a second, and his only swim quicker was the National Record of 21.27 he set in 2019.
For the first time this week we see a tie for second place, with Kliment Kolesnikov and Ilya Shevchenko producing matching 22.01s, the exact FINA ‘A’ standard.
According to the Russian Olympic qualifying procedure, two swimmers that tie for second place and achieve the FINA ‘A’ cut will have the Olympic spot determined based on whoever had the better semi-final result. In this case it’s Kolesnikov, who beat out Shevchenko by .01, 22.17 to 22.18, in the semis.
According to that, Kolesnikov has added a third event to his individual Olympic program, and Shevchenko has missed out on the team.
Women’s 50 Free Final
Russian Record: 24.21, Maria Kameneva (2018)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 24.77
Finishing off her standout meet in style, Maria Kameneva clipped .01 off her Russian Record to win the women’s 50 freestyle in 24.20, moving into a tie for fourth in the world this season.
Kameneva had set her previous best and National Record of 24.21 at the 2018 European Championships. The 21-year-old has now qualified for three individual events at the Games : 50 free, 100 free, 100 back.
Grabbing second place was Arina Surkova who lowered her personal best time by .14 in 24.53 to add a second event to her Olympic program after winning the 100 fly early on in the competition. Surkova also moves past Rozaliya Nasretdinova to become the second-fastest Russian in history.
Nasretdinova, who owns a best of 24.66, made it three women under the ‘A’ cut in 24.72, a very impressive result given that she hadn’t broken 25 seconds since 2018.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay Final
- Russian Record: 3:28.81 (2019)
- Moscow, 3:31.90
- Kaluga Region, 3:36.82
- Kazakhstan, 3:37.77
Kliment Kolesnikov was a workhorse this week, and finished things off just minutes after tying for second in the 50 free on the lead-off leg of Moscow’s 400 medley relay.
Kolesnikov split 52.63 for the 100 back, a laudable performance on its own, not to mention it was his third swim of the session.
For an idea of just how elite that time is, it would’ve placed second in the prelims at the 2019 World Championships. (The only team faster? Russia’s squad that included three of the same four swimmers: Kolesnikov, Chupkov and Grinev.)
Kazakhstan took third in 3:37.77, with Dmitriy Balandin throwing down a 59.63 breast leg.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay
- Russian Record: 3:53.38 (2017)
- St. Petersburg, 3:59.95
- Moscow, 4:02.45
- Novosibirsk Region, 4:06.81
Correction: Maria Kameneva didn’t finish off her incredible meet in the 50 free, because she wasn’t done yet.
Kameneva produced her fourth sub-1:00 100 back swim of the meet leading off for St. Petersburg in the 400 medley relay, clocking 59.79 to open an early lead the team would not relinquish.
Evgeniia Chikunova split 1:06.23 for them on breast, and Daria S. Ustinova anchored things home in 54.05 for a final time of 3:59.95.
Arina Surkova, who, like Kolesnikov and Kameneva, was coming off the 50 free final, dropped a 57.88 fly split for third-place Novosibirsk Region.