2021 Russian Olympic Trials: Day 7 Finals Live Recap


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.

400 and 1500 free winners Anna Egorova and Anastasia Kirpichnikova will meet in the middle in the women’s 800 free, where both should easily be under the ‘A’ standard.

Day 7 Finals Live Stream

Men’s 50 Free Semi-Finals

  1. Vladimir Morozov, 21.59
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov, 22.17
  3. Ilya Shevchenko, 22.18
  4. Ivan Kuzmenko, 22.22
  5. Evgeny Rylov, 22.28
  6. Pavel Samusenko, 22.34
  7. Alexander Varakin, 22.35
  8. 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).

2020-2021 LCM Men 50 Free

View Top 26»

Kliment Kolesnikov added three-tenths from the prelims in 22.17, while Vladislav Grinev snuck into the final in eighth. Like Morozov, Grinev has yet to individually qualify for the Olympics.

Women’s 50 Free Semi-Finals

  • Russian Record: 24.21, Maria Kameneva (2018)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 24.77
  1. Maria Kameneva, 24.33
  2. Arina Surkova, 24.70
  3. Rozaliya Nasretdinova, 25.16
  4. Daria S. Ustinova, 25.25
  5. Olesya Korchagina, 25.31
  6. Daria Tatarinova, 25.35
  7. Ekaterina Nikonova, 25.53
  8. 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
  1. Andrei Minakov, 51.17
  2. Mikhail Vekovishchev, 51.46
  3. Roman Shevlyakov, 51.99

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
  1. Daria K. Ustinova, 2:10.82
  2. Anastasia Klyarovskaya, 2:12.40
  3. 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

  1. Anna Egorova, 8:24.35
  2. Anastasia Kirpichnikova, 8:24.84
  3. Alexandra Khaylova, 8:45.87

Anna Egorova and Anastasia Kirpichnikova battled stroke-for-stroke in the women’s 800 free, with Egorova making her move over the final 150 to earn the win in 8:24.35.

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.

2020-2021 LCM Women 800 Free

View Top 26»

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
  1. Alexander Egorov, 14:57.72
  2. Kirill Martynychev, 15:00.12
  3. Ilya Druzhinin, 15:05.48

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

  1. Vladimir Morozov, 21.41
  2. Ilya Shevchenko / Kliment Kolesnikov, 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.

Evgeny Rylov was a few one-hundredths back for fourth in 22.03, slicing a tenth off his best time, and Ivan Kuzmenko also went under 22.1 in 22.07, improving his previous best of 22.12.

Women’s 50 Free Final

  • Russian Record: 24.21, Maria Kameneva (2018)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 24.77
  1. Maria Kameneva, 24.20
  2. Arina Surkova, 24.53
  3. Rozaliya Nasretdinova, 24.72

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)
  1. Moscow, 3:31.90
  2. Kaluga Region, 3:36.82
  3. 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.

Moscow’s team as a whole was very strong, with Anton Chupkov (59.54), Petr Zhikharev (51.56) and Vladislav Grinev (48.17) bringing them in for a final time of 3:31.90.

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.)

Runners-up Kaluga Region (3:36.82) had solid legs from Andrey Nikolaev (1:00.19) on breast and Mikhail Vekovishchev (51.48) on fly, while veteran Sergey Fesikov anchored in 48.96.

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)
  1. St. Petersburg, 3:59.95
  2. Moscow, 4:02.45
  3. 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.

Daria Vaskina (1:01.27) led for for runner-up Moscow, and Nika Godun (1:06.89) and Svetlana Chimrova (58.36) had solid splits on breast and fly.

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.

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2 years ago

Two Russian swimmers in W800 Olympic final! When was it last time, if ever Two Americans, two Italians, two Australians, two Chinese and two Russians. It’s getting crowed. 🙂

Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

And Köhler, and Késely.

2 years ago

Both Vladimir Salnikov and Sergey Chepik told the Russian media there is no chance Yulia Efimova would swim 200 at the Olympics

Last edited 2 years ago by RusFed
Reply to  RusFed
2 years ago

Well, I may be wrong but I kinda recall Efimova and Salnikov having almost a personal vendetta.
Some years ago I read how a group of athletes were dissatisfied with him as a lead man and were trying to find and campaign for a new one. They were asking ex-athletes to step up if I remember correctly.

Reply to  seetheworldswim
2 years ago

Whether they have personal conflicts or not, it’s the right thing to do to observe the selection rule and not to let Miss Efimova take away the spot earned by another girl.

Reply to  whever
2 years ago

She’s already done it with Chikunova.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Brownish
2 years ago

Feds need to look after their young swimmers . The Euro & Wld juniors & EYO meets were good for Yevgenia . Her Federation prize money winning those including the 100s would be much higher than a world’s minor medal. She can defend her World Junior titles this year for more money.

Reply to  RusFed
2 years ago

It’s not fixed yet, as I see.
On the next day some youtube channel asked Sergey Chepik what happens if Efimova swims 2.20 in Budapest.
Chepik said they (the team coaches) are flexible enough.
So Efimova will swim 200 in Budapest which means she’ll get one more chance

2 years ago

I saw Shevchenko celebrating after looking at the scoreboard at first. I wonder if he just simply was happy about the great time or if he saw the second place + his name + 22.01 and thought he made it…either way I feel bad for the kid

2 years ago

The coaches also getting a medal is cute!

Tommy Schmitt
Reply to  seetheworldswim
2 years ago

Long live socialism lol

Reply to  Tommy Schmitt
2 years ago

No, this is the first time this has happened

2 years ago

Wow i’m sure there are other meets that didn’t get pulled in for him but according to swimrankings.net the only noteworthy times in the database for Ilya Shevchenko are a 23.3 50 Meter Free and 52.7 100 Meter Free from last March!

Outside of that the only other times are slow Breaststroke times from 2017.


Last edited 2 years ago by Riccardo
Reply to  Riccardo
2 years ago

He also went 52.2 in the 100 Free earlier in the meet. Talk about a raw drop dead sprinter.

22.01 and 52.2

Reply to  Riccardo
2 years ago

His entry time was 22.43. I don’t know if it could be a short course time though.

2 years ago

Russian nationals… on lane 4 Kazakstan lmao

Ruling out the idea that they want to return to USSR times lmao, maybe they were seeking to qualify for a spot at the Olympics? Idk

Reply to  seetheworldswim
2 years ago

Balandin was swimming. Russian Nats may be one of the only real accessible Olympic qualifier meets for their international level athletes.

Balandin definitely does the majority of his racing abroad.

Edit: Looks like the Kazakhs were swimming the relay to try to qualify for Tokyo!

Last edited 2 years ago by Riccardo
Corn Pop
Reply to  seetheworldswim
2 years ago

And the USSR represented Lane Four in Kazakhstan with the Yuri Gregarin rocket on a 60th anniversary blast off.

2 years ago

Pretty fast time from Moscow relay. Another 52 for Kolesnikov.

2 years ago

3,31,90 wow, Olympic final qualifier level

Last edited 2 years ago by mclovin

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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