Earlier this week, Anastasia Kirpichnikova received the title “Master of Sports of Russia, International Class,” given to her by Russian Minister of Sports V.L. Mutko.
This season, Kirpichnikova, a mid-distance and distance freestyler, jumped onto the international scene, taking the gold medal in the 4 x 200m free relay (alongside Arina Openysheva, Olesia Cherniatina, and Irina Krivonogova in 8:03.45), the silver in the 800m free (8:39.73), and the bronze in the 400m free (4:13.13) at the inaugural European Games in June. She contributed to a Russian team that absolutely dominated the event.
She also competed in the 800 free at European Short Course Championships in Netanya this December, clocking 8:35.05 and missing the final.
The Unified Sports Classification System of Russia was established in 1935 as the Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR. The system, originally established to provide Soviet physical education requirements, ranks athletes based on their performances in city, regional, national, and international competition. The “Master of Sport of Russia, International Class” is the second-highest honor a Russian athlete can receive, and it is only bestowed upon athletes who have won an international championship.