Dopers’ Double Atop the 200 Breast at Russian Nationals

2018 Russian Swimming Championships

Coming into Tuesday’s final, only 3 Russian women had ever been under 1 minute in the 100 meter backstroke. In Tuesday’s final, 4 women broke the barrier, including a tie for the 2nd spot on the European Championship team.

Daria K. Ustinova led the way with a 59.73, while Maria Kameneva and Anastasia Fesikova (Zueva) tied for 2nd in 59.94. Kameneva was the new name under 1 minute – her previous best time coming into the meet was 1:00.10 at last year’s World University Games.

Fortunately for Russia, both swimmers are already qualified for the meet in other events – Fesikova via her 2nd place finish in the 50 back, and Kameneva via her win in the 50 back and her Russian Record in the 50 free. While Russia has only committed to taking 2 individual swimmers via the qualifying standard per event, each country can race up to 4 entrants per event in prelims at Euros, so both are likely to swim the race in Glasgow.

After a week of record-setting, with national junior, national senior, and/or world junior records being broken on each of the day’s first 4 meets, Tuesday’s penultimate session was relatively anti-climactic. The biggest surprise came in the women’s 200 breaststroke, where Vitalina Simonova swam a 2:23.67 to upset the defending World Champion in the event Yulia Efimova.

Efimova took 2nd in 2:24.02, which is almost 4 seconds slower than she was in this meet last year (though it was still enough to qualify for the European Championships). For Simonova, the result was her best time since 2015 after returning last year from a two-year doping suspension. Efimova has twice failed doping tests, though she was only sanctioned beyond a temporary suspension for one of those.

Other Finals Results

  • Oleg Kostin won the men’s 50 breaststroke in 27.26, touching .01 seconds ahead of Kirill Prigoda (27.27) – with both qualifying for Glasgow. Ilya Khomenko (27.34) and Kirill Strelnikov (27.39) finished in 3rd and 4th, respectively, in a race where the top 4 were separated by just .13 seconds. Anton Chupkov, who won the 100 and 200 breaststroke, didn’t compete in the 50.
  • Unlike the men’s 1500, which saw no qualifiers for Euros, the top 3 finishers in the men’s 800 were all under the requisite standard. Yaroslav Potapov won in 7:55.05, just .05 seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Ilya Druzhinin. Druzinin led most of the race, but Potapov put in a kick at the end that included making up half-a-second over the final length to pip his partner.
  • Alexander Sadovnikov won the men’s 100 fly in 51.67, which ranks him 9th in the world this year. Nobody else was under the European qualifying standard, though Alexander Popkov’s 51.91 from Monday’s semifinals was, and so the Russian federation will have to decide whether to allow him through or not.
  • Alexander Krasnykh won the men’s 200 free in 1:46.25, followed by Mikhail Vekovischev in 1:46.43. The rest of the relay will include Mikhail Dovgalyuk (1:46.49) and Vyacheslav Andrusenko (1:46.89). The National Record holder Danila Izotov was 6th in 1:48.31 – more than 4 seconds slower than his lifetime best.
  • Saint Petersburg won the mixed 400 free relay in 3:30.72.

Finals Results By Event (in Russian)

Semi-Finals Highlights

  • Veronika Andrusenko qualified 1st through to the women’s 100 free final in 54.28, followed by teenager Arina Oponysheva. 50 free winer Maria Kameneva qualified 4th in 55.11. It will take a 54.05 to earn the right to swim the event individually at the European Championships.

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yinz
4 years ago

Good job SwimSwam! Call it as it is!

Let’s hope Matthew Willenbring will be also labeled DOPER every time you write about this future swim star. After all, he won multiple Junior World medals WHILE DOPED last year, and is expected to be one of the brightest NCAA swimmers in years to come.

I certainly hope -in the spirit of this article- you will mention his dubious career start (doping in juniors, really?), every time Texas wins anything with him in the lineup. Shame them!

Or not (depending on your own double set of standards) 🙂

NickB
4 years ago

Its Russian nationals so I guess maybe it is “may the better pharmacy win”…

Togger
4 years ago

Whilst FINA’s biggest showpiece is the Olympics, it’s hamstrung by what the IOC will enforce.

The IOC will always soft peddle whilst headline events such as the men’s 100m would be decimated by that rule (no Gatlin, Gay, Blake etc etc).

bobo gigi
4 years ago

4 years for a first positive test.
Lifetime ban for a second.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

4 years for a first positive test.
Lifetime ban for a second one.
I guarantee you that athletes and coaches would think twice before cheating.

Emanuele
4 years ago

Wow. Gutsy (or clickbait) title.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Emanuele
4 years ago

On the other hand that’s not common to see 2 former dopers finish 1-2. 🙂

Brownish
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

Yeah, just remember e.g Armstrong vs. Ullrich. Of course they weren’t former but permanent dopers.

Brownish
4 years ago

Yesterday Kuimov was DSQd in the 100fly, I don’t know why. Today threre’ll be a time trial with Kudrjasov, Nikolaev and him.

Brownish
Reply to  Brownish
4 years ago

Kuimov swam 51.50 the qualifying time is 51.81.

Insider
Reply to  Brownish
4 years ago

It was a false start.

Brownish
Reply to  Insider
4 years ago

Thanks.

A non-e mouse
4 years ago

I understand both of these athletes have failed doping tests. They should be punished appropriately, but I am not sure it is wise to make needlessly clickbait-y headlines like this. Why is Park Tae Hwan not immediately referred to as a doper in headlines like Efimova?

We in the swimming community should be skeptical of any who have failed a doping test, but we also should try to ensure our judgement are fair and not influenced by the nationality of the swimmers in question

Teddy
Reply to  A non-e mouse
4 years ago

Might be a factor that she gas been caught twice and then added a DUI. All she could add for shame at this point is to grt drunk at a gas station and tear down a poster or something

A non-e mouse
Reply to  Teddy
4 years ago

Sure, Efimova deserves the hate. I was more referring to Simonova, I don’t know anything about her or the details of her suspension

mcgillrocks
Reply to  A non-e mouse
4 years ago

I don’t either, but it was a two-year ban. You don’t get a ban that long usually for a minor infraction.

Wowo
4 years ago

Anyone else not surprised of Vlads time?

AdamLB
Reply to  Wowo
4 years ago

If he is still with the Syringe Salo then no! Dirty Dirty Dirty Coach!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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