European Junior C’ships Medalist Belonogoff Moves From GBR To RUS


If you followed along with our day 1 recap of the FFN Golden Tour top in Nice today, then you know we pointed out something noteworthy regarding breaststroker Tatiana Belonogoff.

18-year-old Belonogoff has long represented the nation of Great Britain, including at elite international competitions such as the 2018 European Junior Championships. However, on the start lists and results for this FFN Golden Tour, the ‘RUS’ national designation is attached to the teen’s name.

Reaching out to her former British home squad of Guildford City, the club confirmed to SwimSwam that Belonogoff is indeed in the process of changing her sports citizenship from GBR to Russia. The club tells SwimSwam that everything was ‘completely amicable’ and ‘with their support.’

Also speaking to SwimSwam was Belonogoff herself who said, “the decision took me quite a long time. I was thinking about it for months and just couldn’t make up my mind. Obviously there is a lot to consider. I finally made my decision about May of last year.”

Belonogoff has lived her entire life in the UK, but her mother is Russian and ‘had a huge influence’ on her daughter’s upbringing.

Although not yet officially cleared by FINA to represent Russia, Belonogoff moved to her new home in June of 2019 and is now training with St. Petersburg.

Belonogoff took gold in the women’s 50m breast at the aforementioned European Junior Championships in Helsinki. At last year’s British Championships, the teen placed 3rd in the 50m breast and 2nd in the 100m breast. In fact, she ranks as Great Britain’s 11th fastest 100m breaststroker of all time with her PB of 1:07.61.

Belonogoff raced at the 2019 Russian National Championships (short course) in November as well as at the Salnikov Cup in December.

On day 1 in Nice, she put up a time of 31.47 to take silver in the women’s 50m breast.

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(G)olden Bear
2 years ago

“… her mother is Russia”. Taking the whole “Mother Russia” thing literally…

2 years ago

Probably not the best move considering Russia likely wont have an Olympic team in 2020.

Reply to  Snarky
2 years ago

Russia will almost certainly send swimmers to the 2020 Olympics, however.

2 years ago

Wish the best for her and hope that she stays clean when in Russia.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Jeff
2 years ago


2 years ago

As a side note I noticed earlier that the young Brit Jacob Whittle is on the entry list for the Victorian Open Championships start on the 14th.

Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

Where did you find start lists?

Reply to  Jeff
2 years ago

Scroll down towards the bottom and it’s under Competition > Psych Sheet.

2 years ago

Wishing the utmost best for her.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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