Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
It was a banner week for Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov. In fact, the hardest decision about this Swim of the Week is which Kolesnikov swim to select.
Kolesnikov finished the Short Course European Championships with 4 gold medals and a silver, helping Russia lead the overall medal tables while breaking what appear to be World Junior Records in the 50 back, 100 back, 200 back and 50 free.
But Kolesnikov’s finest swim has to be his 100 backstroke, which shattered the WJR and came within .07 seconds of the overall world record. Kolesnikov went 48.99, winning by more than half a second and becoming just the fifth man in history to break 49 seconds. Here’s a look at the top times in history in the event:
Top 100 SCM Backstrokes, All-Time
- Matt Grevers (2015), 48.92
- Nick Thoman (2010), 48.94
- Stanislav Donets (2010), 48.95
- Arkady Vyatchanin (2009), 48.97
- Kliment Kolesnikov (2017), 48.99
At just 17 years old, Kolesnikov has another full calendar year to lower WJRs, and should only be getting better in his pursuit of world records. On a broader scale, combining Kolesnikov with WJR-setting breaststroker Anton Chupkov should give Russia the basis of an otherworldly medley relay for years to come.
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