Chikunova, Kolesnikov Receive 1 Million Ruble Bonuses on Last Day of Russia Swimming Cup


Russian sprinting depth was on full display on the final day of the Final of the Swimming Cup of Russia on Sunday, with a trio of swimmers dipping under the 48-second barrier.

That group was led by former National Record holder Ivan Girev, who won in 47.78, and he was followed by the current National Record holder, Kliment Kolesnikov, who swam 47.88.

That time for Kolesnikov was .77 seconds short of his personal best done at the Tokyo Olympics – a bit of a surprising result given hit World Record in the 50 back and Russian Record in the 100 back earlier in the meet, both of which were personal bests.

“I improved my result for the first time in six years,” Girev said of the result. “I am very glad, although physically and emotionally it was not easy to get together before the last day. I was determined to improve it, but I had a doubt that I would not improve the time after the semi-finals, but when I jumped into the water I realized that I could do it. The question is by how much.”

The new revelation for this group, and the youngest finalist by two years, continues to be 19-year-old Egor Kornev. He has swum a best time in every round at this meet, punctuated by a 47.98 for 3rd place in the final. His best time coming into the meet was a 48.70, and his best time coming into the calendar year was just 49.87.

The country’s last World Record breaker prior to the meet, breaststroker Evgenia Chikunova, won her specialty event on the final day of the meet, swimming 2:19.71. While that was two seconds shy of her World Record of 2:17.55 from April, it cleared the 2:20.80 that won Tatjana Schoenmaker the World Championship in Fukuoka.

“For the most part, I am satisfied, I wanted to swim faster than at the World Championships, I wanted to overtake this time,” Chikunova said. “When I made a turn from 150 to 200, I realized that I needed to add. I tried to count how much to add, and then I decided not to count and just accelerate. It’s hard to peak twice in a season, especially in the 200m. You need a lot of stamina.”

Russian swimmers were barred from competing in this summer’s World Aquatics Championships because of the country’s February 2022 invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The team from St. Petersburg – 1 won the overall competition.

1 Million Ruble Bonuses

The All-Russia Swimming Federation awarded 1 million rubles (USD$10,862) bonuses to athletes who beat the World Championship winning time from Fukuoka.

That means Chikunova received such a bonus for her win in the 200 breaststroke on Sunday.

Also on the final day of competition, it became known that Kolesnikov had achieved that in the 50 back, which gave him a second such bonus (he previously had cleared it in the 100 back).

That bonus was about half what World Aquatics paid for World Champions, though there are other cash awards for winning the Swimming Cup of Russia.

Kolesnikov and Chikunova each received a further 500,000  ruble (USD$5,431) bonus for the best results in the first cluster of competition.

Minakov Time Trial

At the end of the session, there was a men’s 100 fly time trial where American-trained Andrei Minakov won in 51.57, beating out Egor Yurchenko‘s 51.61. That time for the 22-year-old Yurchenko is his personal best by almost a second-and-a-half.

Minakov had been training with the NCAA program at Stanford, but this summer entered the Transfer Portal to seek a new home. Without having announced one yet, as the academic year approaches, it’s possible that he will be taking a redshirt next year to train for the Olympics – either in the US or at home in Russia.

Other Highlight Results:

  • Evgeny Rylov, the 2017 and 2019 World Champion and 2021 Olympic Champion, won the 200 backstroke in 1:55.79. That’s within two-tenths of the best that he’s been since being suspended from FINA (now World Aquatics) competition for appearing at a pro-war rally last year hosted by Vladimir Putin.
  • Arina Surkova picked up her 2nd gold medal of the meet by winning the women’s 50 free 24.59.
  • Alexander Kharalnov won the men’s 200 fly in 1:56.10, just beating-out Egor Pavlov‘s 1:56.26. Pavlov’s time was just .01 shy of the best time that he swam at the Russian Championships in April.
  • Svetlana Chimrova was a tenth slower than the semifinals, but still held on to win a tight women’s 100 fly final in 57.68. That gave Chimrova a 4th gold medal of the meet which led all swimmers (though some had more total medals).
  • Valeria Salamatina won the women’s 200 free in 1:59.34. That was a season best, but not much more, missing her personal best by 2 seconds. Teenager Darya Trofimova was 2nd in 1:59.40.
  • Alexander Stepanov won the men’s 1500 free in 15:00.11, which is about five seconds shy of his personal best. A final burst at the finish overcame Kirill Martynychev, who was 2nd in 15:00.23.

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8 months ago

That is the attempt to compensate some how the rising frustration of leading Russian athletes for loosing sponsorships from foreign companies and prize money for successful performances on international scene. From interview with Kolesnikov it is pretty clear that he isn’t satisfied with what he is getting as professional swimmer of his caliber and is thinking about changing the sport.

Kevin swim fan
8 months ago

I do not miss the Russians. We did not have to think about whether the results in Fukuoka were tainted. Due to the Sochi Olympics and the case of the figure skater Valieva, there is always a cloud of suspicion, more so than any other country. There was a comment yesterday on Swim Swam that Russian drug testing is under more scrutiny than ever. Therefore, it will be harder to cheat. I do not agree. Is any outside agency doing any out of competition testing? Who was doing the testing at this meet?
For those who may be eager to see the Russian swimmers return, there may be some at Paris. They may not be all of the familiar… Read more »

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Kevin swim fan
8 months ago

They got banned from the Olympics from doping.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 months ago

The Russian Federation is banned from the Olympics, but not the Russian athletes. With the exception of track and field, which the IAAF allowed only five athletes, Russian athletes were in full force, competing under the flag of the ROC, which stands for Russian Olympic Committee, both in South Korea in the Winter Games of 2018 and in Tokyo in the Summer Games of 2020/2021. Their current ban from international sports competitions like the World Swimming Championships is because of the invasion of Ukraine, though the President of the IOC is trying to find a way to allow them to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Reply to  JoeB
8 months ago

I’d hope that barring Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, France will refuse entry visas to all Russian athletes to Games next year. Regardless of IOC procrastinations.

Reply to  Kevin swim fan
8 months ago

If you did your own research you could answer your own questions. Would save you a lot of time from regurgitation.

Reply to  Kevin swim fan
8 months ago

The International Fencing Federation (FIE) was led by Oligarch Alisher Usmanov. He was elected president in 2008 with 66 votes to 61 for incumbent president René Roch. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. In 2021, Usmanov was re-elected by acclamation to a fourth term. For more information, please do your own search.

Reply to  Dan
8 months ago

Your point?

fly to failure
8 months ago

They have the money for bonuses. Everyone is buying Russian oil via India and Hungary.

8 months ago

I imagine it’s too late for Minakov to change his sporting citizenship in time for Paris.

Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Was gonna make a joke that it converts to $35 but that it’s $10k is sorta funny enough.

And man, Minakov hasn’t really had a “good” swim since 2020, huh. Damn you, Greg Meehan!!!

Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Are we holding Meehan responsible for the men too now?

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 months ago

That’s probably more than the widows get from their dying husbands in Ukraine.

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 months ago

That’s more than Ukrainian mothers get from their dying children.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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