Grigory Tarasevich Added To Russian Olympic Team In Men’s 200 Back

Backstroker Grigory Tarasevich has been named to the Russian Olympic team as a late addition, getting the nod by virtue of his performance in the 200 back at the 2021 European Championships in May.

Tarasevich, who will now be a two-time Olympian after representing Russia at the 2016 Games in Rio, had narrowly missed the FINA ‘A’ standard of 1:57.50 at the Russian Olympic Trials in April, placing second to countryman Evgeny Rylov in the final in 1:57.54.

However, after getting named to the country’s European Championship roster, Tarasevich took full advantage of the opportunity and threw down a time of 1:57.41 in the prelims in Budapest, earning him a spot on the team. He ultimately finished 10th in the semi-finals (1:57.68).

“It is hard to overstate what this means for me, competing in Tokyo was my biggest goal for the past five years for which I had to put the start of my engineering career aside,” Tarasevich told SwimSwam. “And while this journey in itself would be worth it thanks to all the amazing people I met, raced and trained with along the way, I am extremely happy and thankful that I get a chance to compete at the Olympics.

“This also means that I get to keep my spot on the wall poster of UofL pool (low key one of my biggest motivations), which is getting pretty crowded lately with all the Olympians and new NCAA champions.”

The 25-year-old went well under the FINA ‘A’ cut in the 100 back (53.85) at both Russian Trials (52.93) and the Euro prelims (53.55), but was locked out of Olympic qualification due to Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov going 1-2 at Trials.

Tarasevich, a former member of the Louisville Cardinals, finished ninth in the 100 back at the 2016 Olympic Games, and also swam on the prelim squad of the men’s 400 medley relay that ultimately finished fourth in the final.

The Omsk, Russia native owns a bronze medal from the 2017 LC World Championships in the men’s 400 medley relay, along with a pair of SC World gold medals from the 2016 Championships in Windsor, Ontario (men’s 200, 400 medley relays).

Individually, Tarasevich won silver in the 100 back and bronze in the 50 back at the 2016 European Championships, and he also won a trio of medals at the 2019 World University Games in the backstroke events (100m gold, 200m silver, 50m bronze).

The Russian Olympic roster climbs to 34 after the All-Russia Swimming Federation announced their tentative roster of 33 in late April.

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Alec Scott
3 months ago

Awesome for him! I wonder if there is a chance he will swim the prelims of the 400 medley relay considering that on season best times the finals relay has Rylov on Backstroke and Kolesnikov on freestyle.

Coach Mike 1952
3 months ago

So Russia allows > 2 members per event?

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
3 months ago

Where do you get that idea from? It’s him and rylov in the 200

Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
3 months ago

He probably though Kolesnikov was in the 200

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
3 months ago

No. At Trials, only Rylov made the FINA A cut, so only Rylov was on the team. Tarasavitch finished second but didn’t go fast enough to qualify. But at Euros, Tarasavitch just became the second Russian with an A cut, so Russia is able to add him to the roster.

Joris Bohnson
3 months ago

He deserves it ! Great russian backstroke trio

3 months ago

I’m glad for him. It also gives Russia even more options in the men’s medley relay e.g. if Kolesnikov is really hot in the freestyle and Rylov is sharp in the backstroke they could rest both of them for the final and put Tarasevich to swim in the heats.

3 months ago

What is his per diem of meldonium?

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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