The St. Petersburg Cup was in full swing in Russia over the weekend, where key members of the Russian team took to the pool in the hopes of clenching last chance Kazan-qualifying times with the 2015 FINA World Championships fast-approaching.
Russian freestyle ace, Danila Izotov, earned the trifecta of freestyle victories, winning the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles at the meet in times of 23.11, 49.13 and 1:48.52, respectively. Although Izotov stood atop the podium on 3 occasions while in St. Petersburg, his times were off his best marks of the year from Russian Nationals, where he clocked a swift 48.41 for the 8th-fastest 100 freestyle thus far of 2015, as well as a time of 1:47.59 in the 200 free, which currently sits as the 24th-fastest.
However, with Russians Alexander Krasnykh (1:47.39) and Alexander Sukhorukov (1:47.59) each with stellar times at their country’s Nationals in April, as well as Vladimir Morozov (47.98) and Sukhorukov (48.33) each holding 100m freestyle times that top Izotov’s best this year so far of 48.41, Izotov will surprisingly not be swimming any individual events at this year’s World Championships. According to rsport.ru, the 2013 World Championships 200 freestyle bronze medalist will be participating as a relay swimmer only for the Russians in Kazan.
Of this situation, Izotov told rsport.ru that “I will go to the World Cup with a good mood. The main thing is that I got to the World Cup. Two relays – a big load. I will help the team, just ready. Of course, it is insulting not to swim personal (distance)…..Of course, I was upset, but nothing has changed, you need to live, to work, to the negative emotions are not affected in the future.” Izotov will be on the Russian 4×100 free and 4×200 freestyle relays at the World Championships.
The women saw Daria Ustinova sweep the backstroke events in St. Petersburg, wrapping up wins in the 50, 100 and 200 distances. Ustimov touched the wall in 28.80 in the 50 backstroke, just a tad off of her mark of 28.37 from Russian Nationals, which is currently tied for 24th in the world rankings. The 1:00.37 mark Ustimov earned in the 100 backstroke race moved her to 20th in the world rankings, while her 200 backstroke performance this past weekend rocketed her to 11th overall in the world.
Multiple event winners were also seen in the breaststroke races, with Victoria Andreeva earning wins in both the 100 and 200, finishing in times of 1:10.62 and 2:28.91, respectively. Natalia Lovtsova claimed victories in the 50 and 100 butterfly races, topping the field in 27.11 and 58.86 in each event for her efforts.