Hardcore Swim of the Week: A New Star is Born in Russia

The HardCore Swim of the week goes to Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova for her Naitonal Record setting 100 meter fly swim of 58.22 on Wednesday.

Though the Russian Championship in Moscow this past week is the lesser of the two first-half national championship events (it is the selector for the Junior World Championships roster, as compared to the Russian Cup in April that selected the senior World Championship roster), Chimrova’s swim was one of the three biggest explosions in Russian swimming in 2013.

One was Vlad Morozov at the American collegiate championships in yards, followed by his first sub-48 in the 100 long course meter freestyle; the second was 14-year old backstroker Darina Ustinova who is putting up Missy Franklin-like times; and now the 17-year old butterflier Chimrova.

Her swim knocked a tenth-of-a-second off of the old record set by Natalia Sutyagina in 2008.

That time is quite a bit faster, for example, than any American 17-year old has been in the race. In the bigger picture, the Russian women suddenly look like they could have a very good medley relay in time for their home 2015 World Championships in Kazaan. Chimrova would have two more years under her belt and one might guess at least a 57 flat-start by then. Breaststroker Yulia Efimova, one of the best in the world, will still be a young woman at just 23 years old. Freestyler Veronika Popova (who won the 100 fly at the Russian Cup) won’t be much older at only 24. And the oldest of the group, backstroker Anastasia Zueva who took silver in the 100 in Shanghai in 2011, will only be 25. She’s been battling injury, and if not healthy, Ustinova could be coming into her own at the international level by then anyway.

The added bonus is that this may take some pressure off of Popova to push her butterfly races and allow her (or perhaps give her more reason to) focus on the sprint freestyles, where she has World-finals potential.

The Russian women were 4th in the medley at the 2012 London Olympics, and with a young powerful foursome now capped off by Chimrova’s potential, all signs point toward medalists in the medley in Rio. That would be a welcome sign for the Russian women, who unlike the relative power of the men’s program has only stood atop the pool swimming podium three times since the post-Unified 1996 Olympics, with none of those coming in relays.

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Wow.. I would think that Campbell and her 53.3 and 52.8 in two days untapered is waaaayyyy more hardcore than a 58.22. A slight against Campbell? I think so! Even Magnussen’s 48.12 and 48.11 in one day is even more hardcore. 58.22 in w100fly is not that fast these days, it would not even get you in the finals of both last world championships and olympics, while 52.89 in w100 free will win gold in all olympics and world championships with the exception of rubber-suited 2009 Rome, and 48.11 m100free would easily get you to finals in the last olympics and worlds. swimming 58.22 100 fly at 17 yo is hardcore? Tell that to Yolane Kukla who swam the exact… Read more »


Please tell us what your criteria of “Hardcore Swim of the Week”.. because I feel it’s very random.


It really doesn’t matter Aswim. They have a good female drag suit & support brain cancer research.

Plus Cate’s swim is a little late in the week .


I agree; a 58.2, while obviously extremely fast for a 17-year-old, is otherwise not very exciting in 2013. I was shocked to learn that the Russian record was still that slow. I’m glad that the future is a bit brighter for the Russian women, but a 52.8 by Campbell is very close to a textile WR and way more hard core!!!

I believe SS choice was based the fact she is a new comer in international scene(and, after all, is a RUSSIAN record).
Magnussen 48.1 is very good(in international scene), but is not very good if you put in the mix what he is capable of.
Campbell time is amazing, but if i believe they made the choice prior saturday.And Cate Campbell won HC of week in Aussie trials with her other 52.8.They want to put new kids in the block.


Oh please, don’t tell me Cate Campbell did not get it because she had already got it once and because she’s not a “new kid on the block” Muffat got it few weeks ago for her 4:02. Is Muffat a new kid on the block? Also don’t tell me that Magnussen did not get it because 48.1 is relatively not amazing considering what he’s capable of. Cielo got it few weeks ago for his 22.0 (!). Is Cielo only capable of 22? I could the idea that the HC goes to Svetlana Chimrova, had it not been in the same week when a female swimmer put up 53.3 and 52.8 UNTAPERED and a male swimmer threw in a couple of… Read more »

i am trying to speculate, to assume what SS means with HC of the week.Probably was RUSSIAN record a big chunk of that swim.
I didnt understand Cielo choice with 22.0(when Vlad made 21.7), even with knee surgery, he made 21.57 with a poor start in April.Maybe because his start are very,very weak in that meeting.
We dont know the criteria, we will be going nuts only with assumptions.




You mirror my feeling: I was also very surprised to find out that the Russian w100 fly record was that slow.

Ten year ago, Jessicah Schipper already swam 58.22 when she was 17.
And then Kukla at 14 yo did it in 2010.

Not counting year 2009, other swimmers who swam 58.22 or faster when they were 17:
Halsall, Sjoestrom, Tao, Bianchi. There may be others.

bobo gigi

Mary T. Meagher in 1981!!!! 57.93 for a new world record and she was 16!


Thank Bobo!

I knew she was still a teenager but was not sure that she was still under 17 even.

Truly a transcendent swimmer!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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