Efimova Takes 100 Breaststroke, Izotov Ranks in World's Top-3 in the 200 free

Day 3 in Moscow absolutely lit up the scoreboard, including an onslaught of the international top-15 lists.

Yulia Efimova is a rising star in the breaststroke races (she’s looking like the only swimmer with enough upside to have a chance at Rebecca Soni in either distance by London), and took the 10o meter title in 1:07.44 (8th in the world). As one of our readers pointed out, Efimova has spent some time early this year training with Dave Salo at USC and his elite breaststroke group (really, who wouldn’t?), and she’s one to watch for a possible full-time move to Los Angeles following the World Championships.

Oksana Serikova won the women’s 50 free in 25.45. This is a fairly lackluster time for a champion at a meet as prestigious as this one, and isn’t a FINA A-cut. Serikova is actually a Ukranian (the top Russian finisher was Svetlana Fedulova, who is the short course record holder, in 25.49) which shows a lack of sprinting depth on the Russian women’s side. Veronika Popova, who set the National Record in the 100 free on day 2, skipped this race to focus on her 200 IM semi-final, where she took the top seed in 2:11.73 (7th in the world). Based on her 100 time, however, there’s little doubt that she would’ve won the 50 if entered.

Anastasia Zueva is best known for her exploits in the 50 backstroke, where she broke the World Record 4 times before she could get FINA to recognize one. In the two years since then, however, she’s definitely come a long way in the 200, where she posted the 2nd-best time in the world (behind Belinda Hocking) at 2:07.91. She is only 20-years old, and is part of the young Russian contingent (along with Efimova) who is bringing Russian women’s swimming to a new level internationally.

The Russian men put on a show in the 200 free, one of the more anticipated races of the whole meet, and this whole Championship Trials season for that matter, and not-surprisingly, the teenager Danila Izotov has overtaken the mantle in this event from Nikita Lobintsev. Izotov took the win in 1:46.14, which places him 3rd in the world this season (including behind another teen, Yannick Agnel, with whom Izotov is developing an incredible rivalry). The final two spots in the A-relay for Shanghai (in Russia’s best relay) will go to Aleksander Sukhorukov and Evgeny Lagunov. Andrey Ushakov, fresh off of his Youth Olympic Games Championship in this race, broke the 1:50 barrier to take 6th place and a possible prelims swim this summer. Before London, he could be that missing 4th piece to a really killer Russian relay for London.

In the men’s 200 breaststroke, Anton Lobanov touched in 2:11.50, the world’s 13th-best time this year. He will be joined in Shanghai by the runner-up Grigory Falko, who finished in 2:12.34. In the other men’s final of the day, Nikita Konovalov won in 23.88 (hes semi’s time of 23.87 is 11th in the world). Evgeny Korotyshkin finished 2nd in 23.95 (also in the top 15 in the world), after winning the 100 fly on day 2. This is a bit of a disappointing time for him, at more than half-a-second off of what he went at Euro’s last year.

Yelena Sokolova won the women’s 800 free in 8:37.73, which is a FINA B-cut.


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11 years ago

Jiang split 146.64 on the 4x2free relay at the Asian games, dropping another second off his performance 2 weeks ago, or even splitting 145 doesn’t seem that out of the question, right?

Li split 148.09 on the same relay. The disparity between their flat times and relay times probably represent their times at the selection meet versus after they’ve rested for the Asian games. Taking these splits into consideration, their improvements so far this year are expected for swimmers their age (Jiang just turn 19, and Li is 17– therefore Li dropping more time is perfectly normal).

That said, at least for this summer, China vs Russia will be a very interesting and close race.

11 years ago

The Americans are definitely going to be faster than than at panpacs. I think how we do will depend on Phelps. I say this because I dont think its that hard to -guess- what Lochte, Berens, Pvk will swim, especially because the latter two have pretty much stayed at the same level since Beijing. Berens and Pvk will probably put up splits that’ll average 146mid (like they did last year). In light of Lochte’s recent improvement, we could see a low144 split (about a second faster, for “lochte fans” who think he’ll go much faster, consider that he will be just out of the 200back final).

I think its conceivable to see Phelps swim 2 seconds faster than at Panpacs,… Read more »

11 years ago

My apologies! I was looking forward to it because we havent really heard your word on the more “eye opening” performances from China, France or Aus yet.

The chinese team already looks capable of surpassing their 707.68 from last year (706high?), and we’re still 3 months away from the “big show”. Given the age of the Chinese swimmers, plus some technical improvements (for example Sun Yang can drop at least a second), I would not be surprised to see the chinese go 703 or even faster this summer.

11 years ago

You guys might find this interesting. The sum of the top 4 flat starts from Chinese nationals is .41 faster than the top 4 from the Russian trials:

Izotov 146.14
Lobintsev 147.23
Sukhorukov 147.82
Lagunov 148.24

Sun 144.99
Li 147.69
Jiang 147.90
Sun 148.44

Both teams could probably drop 2 seconds due to relay starts, and perhaps another 2 or more seconds from tapering. The Chinese relay performance done without of their wildcard performer Zhang Lin, who has been 145high.
If the Chinese team continues to progress, I could see them take silver this summer–and perhaps, on home turf, challenge for gold.

11 years ago

Oksana Serikova is Ukrainian, it’s open championship

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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