Russian National coach Sergei Kolmogorov believes that the Russian team is strong heading into Rio and will perform better than at European Championships.
Russia only earned two medals at the Championships, coming on the men’s side from Grigoriy Tarasevich. Tarasevich eanred a silver in the 100 back and a bronze in the 50 back.
Russia ranked 16th out of 23 teams in medal count and points, a stark contrast to last year’s 2nd place finish at the short course Championships.
Kolmogorov was asked why many Russian swimmers failed to qualify for the Olympic team, and answered by naming the four swimmers who had a good opportunity to qualify but fell short. Kolmogorov named Alexander Osipenko, Andrey Zhilkin, Nikolay Skvortsov, and Natalie Ivaneeva as some of the swimmers who did not reach their full potential, and cited shortcomings in training as part of the reason for the disappointing results. Kolmogorov claimed that another reason why the team may have been sluggish is because Russian National Championships were just a short month before the Championships.
Kolmogorov also noted that the standards to qualify for the Olympic Team in Russia are faster than FINA “A” cuts, causing many swimmers to miss out due to overly difficult qualifying times.
Kolmogorov went on to say that many of the swimmers at Championships, from all teams, underperformed because the Championships were held two months before the Olympic Games this year, as opposed to being held in late July or early August. This shift caused many swimmers to be unprepared, as the meet was too early in the summer, which affected the athletes’ training cycle.