Kliment Kolesnikov is a Russian backstroke specialist and is leading the way as the next generation of Russian swimming. He holds the World Junior records in the 50, 100 and 200 meter backstroke.
Kolesnikov earned his first international call up for Russia in 2016 at the European Junior Championships and he made a grand entrance. He broke the World Junior record in both the 50 and 100 meter backstroke en route to the gold medals. He posted a 24.94 in the 50 and 53.65 in the 100. He also picked up silvers in the 400 meter mixed and mens medley relays and finished fourth in the 200 meter backstroke.
A year later at the same meet he won gold in the 50 and 200 meter backstroke, earned a silver in the 100 meter backstroke and the two medley relays and a bronze in 400 meter freestyle relay.
2017 World Championships
Kolesnikov qualified for his first senior international meet by breaking the World Junior Record in the 200 meter backstroke at the Russian Championships. He posted a 1:55.49 to break the previous record by well over one second.
In Budapest Kolesnikov made a statement by finishing fourth in the 200 meter backstroke just a few weeks after his 17th birthday. He set a new Junior World Record in the semi-final to lower his best to 1:55.15. In the final he lowered it even further to 1:55.14 and was just 0.08 away from the bronze medal.
2017 SCM European Championships
Kolesnikov had a strong meet in Copenhagen, Denmark. On the first day, he finished first in the 200 backstroke with a new World Junior and Competition Record of 1:48.02. He followed up his win a couple days later when the 17-year-old touched the wall first in the 100 backstroke with the time of 48.99. He missed the World Record by 0.07 seconds.
On the last day, Kolesnikov was the clear favorite for the 50 backstroke final after two dominating swims in the prelims and semi-finals. He broke the World Junior Record but lost the title to Italy’s Simone Sabbioni by 0.02 seconds. Later in the session, Kolesnikov dropped a 22.83 to better his own WJR in the 4×50 medley relay.
2018 European Championships
Kolesnikov’s backstroke siege continued in Glasgow, as he went 2-for-2 in the sprint backstrokes. In the 50, he made it through to the finals, where he then broke a nearly decade-old world record, touching the wall at 24.00. In the 100, he broke a world junior record in finals, touching at 52.53 for his 2nd gold of the meet. In the 200 back, ,he was the 3rd fastest Russian out of prelims, and therefore did not move onto the semis.
In addition to his individual races, Kliment took home 4 relay medals, including gold in the 4×100 free relay (anchoring in a team best 47.39), silver in the 4×100 medley relay (52.77 backstroke), bronze in the mixed 4×100 free relay, and silver in the mixed 4×100 medley relay.