In accordance with orders of the All-Russian Sports Federation, the All-Russian Swimming Federation has announced 6 candidates to take over as the head coach of the Russian National Swimming Team. 3 of these coaches applied for the head coaching position for the pool National Tea: Sergei Kolmogorov (the incumbent), Sergey Zhilkin, and Alexander Klokov applied for . The other 3 applied for the open water National Team head coaching position: Sergey Borodin, Lydia Vlasevskaya, and Natalia Pankin.
The Russian Swimming Federation will consider the 6 applicants at their next Board of Directors meeting that will be held on November 10th in Kazan at the conclusion of the country’s Short Course National Championships. They will then provide a recommendation for approval to the Russian Ministry of Sports.
National Team Pool Candidates
The incumbent, Sergei Kolmogorov, took over the team in September of 2015 – just one year out from the Olympics – after a review by the Russian Ministry of Sport deemed that it was time for a change. At their hosted 2015 World Championships, the Russian team flopped in front of a home crowd. They only wound up with 4 pool medals, with only a single gold – Yulia Efimova in the 100 breaststroke, and even that result was under a cloud as she’d just returned from a doping suspension.
The results didn’t improve much in Rio at the Olympics – the team won just 2 bronze medals and 2 silvers (both from Efimova), though by that point the Russian team was in disarray with a never-ending back-and-forth about which Russian swimmers would and would not be eligible to swim. Ultimately, they all competed as qualified (including Efimova, despite another positive test earlier in the year), so there will have to be some discussions about whether those results were out of Kolmogorov’s control.
Sergey Zilkihn is an accomplished coach in the IPC side of the sport, where he coached among others Olesya Vladykina. In 2012, he was named as a member to the IPC Swimming Technical Committee.
Alexander Klokov is a legend of Russian swimming, and a looming figure in this competition. If named, it would be his 3rd round as the head coach of this National Team – he served as the Head Swimming Coach for the Soviet Union and CIS team until its dissolution in 1992, and then after 11 years spent coaching in Colombia returned in 2003 for another 6-year term as the head coach of the All-Russian Swimming Federation.
Open Water National Team Head Coach
Among the 3 candidates for the open water position are two women – Lydia Vlasevskaya and Natalia Pankina. Vlaveskaya’s resume is largely based on her coaching – she is the coach of some of Russia’s best open water swimmers, including Anastasia Azarova. In the pool, she’s also the coach of, among others, Evgeny Kochkarov and Vladimir Datchine – formidable named in Russian open water history. She also coached Anastasia Azarova
Pankina, meanwhile, is a three-time World Championship and three-time European Championship medalist in open water – with all of those won between 2002 and 2008 and in the 25km race. In 2007, she became the first Russian woman to successfully swim the English Channel – completed in a time of 8 hours, 11 minutes.