2017 Russian Championships
- Monday, April 10 – Friday, April 14, 2017
- Moscow, Russia
- Live results
It was the sprinters who came up with the best performances on day 1 of Russian nationals, with Yulia Efimova hitting a new world #1 time in the 50 breast and Oleg Kostin doing the same in the 50 fly.
Efimova was 29.88 to win the 50 breast, topping the world ranks by a good seven tenths of a second. The Russian breaststroker is looking to rebound from a Rio Olympics in which she was widely criticized and publicly booed following a failed doping test for the newly-banned substance meldonium. FINA ultimately dropped all charges against Efimova after some evidence suggested athletes could have taken meldonium when it was legal (at the end of 2015) and had the substance remain in their system several months into 2017.
Kostin won the 50 fly with a big swim of 23.27. That’s takes over spot #1 in the world ranks by one one-hundredth of a second and leaves the ranks very, very tight at the top. The 24-year-old Kostin is now just .03 off of the Russian national record, which was set at 23.24 by Evgeny Korotyshkin back in 2009, during the era of the supersuits.
One more finals swim cracked the top 5 in the world ranks. Aleksandr Krasnykh was 3:45.79 to win the men’s 400 free, moving to #4 worldwide. Other event winners included Irina Krivonogova in the women’s 400 IM (4:45.23) and Anastasia Kirpichnikova in the women’s 800 free (8:36.25).
Semifinals in five events brought out a few more big world-ranked times. Most notable was the 200 breast, where there’s been a world explosion of top times this season. Kirill Prigoda is the top qualifier into the final at 2:08.11 – that sets him to #3 in the world ranks behind only world record-breaker Ippei Watanabe and Sweden’s Erik Persson, who broke out earlier this week. Second in semifinals today was Anton Chupkov, who went 2:08.72 and now sits #4 in the world. Prigoda’s time appears to knock down Chupkov’s Russian record of 2:08.53 set last summer.
And in the men’s 100 back semifinals, Evgeny Rylov dropped a 53.44 that moves him to #3 in the world ranks for the season.
Other semifinal winners included Svetlana Chimrova in the 200 fly (2:08.57), Veronika Popova in the 100 free (54.65) and Daria Ustinova in the 200 back (2:10.08).
Russia will use this meet to select its World Championships team, among several other major meets. From our translation of the selection procedures, it appears Russia will select the top 2 swimmers in each event who hit their qualifying standards. Qualifying standards are at the bottom of the selection procedures document here, in its original Russian.
Qualifying Swimmers for World Champs:
Prigoda and Chupkov should be in line to make the cut in the 200 breast, along with Rylov in the 100 back. Chimrova is just off the time in the 50 fly, Popova a half-second away in the 100 free and Ustinova a half-second off in the 200 back.