Herasimenia Wins Three, Balandin Takes 200 Breast at Belarus Open

Aliaksandra Herasimenia took home three wins at the 2016 Belarus Open that concluded today, while Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan won the 200 breast.


Herasimenia, who won silver medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle races at the 2012 Olympic Games, swept those same races here as well as the 50 back.

In the 50 free, she was 24.78, a bit off of her 11th-in-the-world 24.52 from late April. Finishing up right behind her under 25 seconds was Yuliya Khitraya (24.92). Herasimenia dominated the 100 free, posting a 54.15, winning handily over Khitraya’s 55.55.

Herasimenia, who holds the world’s fastest 50 backstroke time at 27.40 from late April, posted a 27.88 this weekend to win that same event by over a full second. She was also a force on relays– she split 53.52 and 53.72 on two different relays at this meet.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Balandin competed in all three breaststroke events. He’s been relatively quiet after sweeping all breaststroke races at the 2014 Asian Games and breaking Kosuke Kitajima’s 200 breast meet record, but took home a win in the 200 breast in Belarus. He was 2:13.08, which isn’t a great time, but it’s hard to gauge exactly where swimmers are right now with just three weeks between now and the Rio Olympics.

Balandin finished 2nd in the 50 and 100 breast to Ilya Shymanovich— the Belarusian was 1:00.40 to Balandin’s 1:01.61 in the 100, and 27.82 to Balandin’s 27.87 in the 50. Shymanovich also managed a 59.94 breaststroke split on Minsk’s 4×100 mixed medley relay (the same relay where Herasimenia was 53.52 on the anchor leg).

Mikita Tsmyh swept the men’s backstroke races. He was 25.61 in the 50, 54.65 in the 100, and 2:01.45 in the 200, winning by sizable margins in the latter two races and breaking the 200 back Belarusian record. The old mark was a 2:01.61 set in 1992. He was pretty close to Pavel Sankovich’s national record in the 100 back, as well.

Meanwhile, Yauhen Tsurkin had a fantastic meet for himself. Tsurkin won the 100 free (50.08), 50 fly (23.73), and 100 fly (52.97). Tsurkin holds national records in the 50 and 100 fly.

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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