Ivan Kurakin on Making Wave I a Week Ago to Winning It


Reported by Spencer Penland.


  • World Record: 3:40.07 – Paul Biederman (GER), 2009
  • American Record: 3:42.78 – Larsen Jensen, 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:43.53 – Larsen Jensen (USA), 2008
  • World Junior Record: 3:44.60 – Mack Horton (AUS)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Mack Horton (AUS) – 3:41.55
  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Connor Jaeger  – 3:43.79
  • Wave I Cut: 3:57.29
  • Wave II Cut: 3:54.21


  1. Ivan Kurakin (TAC) – 3:56.17
  2. Brice Barrieault (SAND) – 3:56.61
  3. Curtis Wiltsey (NCS) – 3:56.72

For the first time at the Wave I meet, the B final winner posted the fastest time in the field. Eli Shoyat blew away his previous best, and roared out to a lead over the rest of the B final. He touched in 3:55.75, touching as the only swimmer in the event at this meet to break 3:56.

The two swimmers who will be advancing are Triton Aquatic Club 21-year-old Ivan Kurakin, who also earned the top seed in prelims this morning, and Sandpipers’ Brice Barrieault, who was swimming down in lane 8. Kurakin was in the lead essentially from start to finish, and although it looked like he would get caught on the 2nd-to-last 50, he managed to kick it into gear on the final length, and touch first.

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3 months ago

Sucks to be Shoyat. Wish they could make an exception and allow him to advance to wave 2 as well

Reply to  AvidSwimFan
3 months ago

Oddly this happened for the women’s 400 free as well, although she would’ve been second not first. But swimmers of all ages have had the chance to learn the importance of getting it done in prelims.

Reply to  AvidSwimFan
3 months ago

That defeats the purpose of prelims.

Reply to  AvidSwimFan
3 months ago

This isn’t time trials where you keep trying to hit a time.

It’s a competition with set rules.

To make the Olympic team you have to
1. Place in the top 2 of wave 1 / or have a time fast enough to get a “bye” and automatically go to wave 2 – before the completion starts!
2. Make top 16 (or 8) in prelims … Then top 8 in semis, then top 2.

That’s the contest.

For some reason swimming has turned into a time trial rankings instead of racing. It’s one thing to go fast in clean water, it’s another when you have people creating big waves next you.

3 months ago

Ivan sounds like a nice guy. I was surprised with both narrators having hard time to pronounced correctly his very simple three syllables (the stress on the second one) Russian surname.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago


Last edited 3 months ago by ANON
Chef Jake
3 months ago

Great kid and well swum race against a field he knew would try to push on the 2nd half of the race.

College swimmer
3 months ago

I’ve raced Ivan a couple times in the 200 back, he’s a nice guy and talented swimmer

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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