21-year old Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov has been named the GQ Russia Sportsman of the Year.
GQ is a men’s fashion, style, and culture magazine that includes at least 9 editions, including the one in Russia.
“We live in the era of great swimmers: Alexander Popov, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps took turns writing the history of this sport. After the “dry” period of 14 years without victories, Evgeny Rylov returned Russia to the elite of the world Championships.”
After that World Championship in 2017 in the 200 back, Rylov was out of the pool for months while rehabbing a shoulder injury. He returned in time for the European Championships, where he won 4 medals (2 gold), including a victory in the 200 back in 1:53.36. That broke his own European Record of 1:53.61, as well as the Championship Record of 1:55.28 set by Radoslaw Kawecki in 2012.
Among the other finalists in voting for the award were Habib Nurmagomedov, Fedor Smolov, Nikita Gusev and Alexander Zverev. Not winning Sportsman of the Year, but instead promoted to GQ Man of the Year, was soccer forward Artem Dzyuba, who led Russia to the quarterfinals of the home World Cup in 2018. That was Russia’s highest finish since before the dissolution of the Soviet Union (they were 7th in 1982).
Rylov is the first swimmer to win the award.