Kirill Prigoda Swims 2:07 200 Breast, Upsets World Champion Chupkov


Day 2 of the 2020 Russian Swimming Cup final saw Kirill Prigoda swim a new lifetime best in the 200 breaststroke and pull off a big upset over the defending World Champion Anton Chupkov.

The 24-year old Prigoda, who swam only the 50 and 100 breaststrokes at last summer’s World Championships, swam 2:07.85 in Saturday’s final. That undercuts his previous best time of 2:08.11 done at the 2017 Russian Championships and coincidentally beat out a 2:08.11 from Chupkov, who placed 2nd. Chupkov is the two-time defending World Champion in the 200 breaststroke in long course.

That jumps Prigoda into a tie for 24th place all-time in the event.

For Russia, there is an opening in the 200 breaststroke headed toward Tokyo: behind Chupkov, their 2nd entry at the World Championships, Aleksandr Palatov, finished in just 26th place. Prigoda placed 4th in the 50 breaststroke and 5th in the 100 breaststroke at those World Championships.

While he didn’t swim the 200 breaststroke in Gwangju, he’s not a total stranger to the event: he was the 2018 World Champion in the event in short course meters and the 2019 World University Games Champion in long course meters.

Prigoda won the race on the strength of the front-half of his swim: he opened in 1:02.22, which was almost a second ahead of Chupkov’s opening split of 1:03.20. The two split similarly on the 3rd 50, and then Chupkov, with his signature long stroke, out split Prigoda 32.09 to 32.77 over the final length, but ran out of room to catch his compatriot.

In the women’s 50 breaststroke, 15-year old Evgeniia Chikunova won in her best distance with a 2:22.94. She likewise has a long stroke built best ofr 200 meters. Marya Temnykova finished 2nd in that race in 2:23.50, which is within a tenth of her lifetime best, while Evegniia’s older sister Darya Chikunova placed 3rd in a new lifetime best of 2:23.88.

With the exception of Evgeniia Chikunova, the group of teenage breaststrokers that led the pack in the 100 breaststroke on Friday were well back of the leaders over 200 meters, setting up for an electric the 100 breaststroke final on Sunday.

Maria Kameneva picked up her 2nd win in as many days, topping the 200 free in 1:58.34. That’s her first time under 2 minutes in that event, undercutting the 2:00.63 best time that she went in March of this year. Coming into 2020, her best time was 2:01.5, and she had only sparsely swum that race in her career.

The Russian women were 5th at the World Championships in the 800 free relay last year, with their slowest leg being a 1:58.19 from Anna Egorova, who really excels in events 400 meters and up. They could only afford to make one swap between prelims and finals, so if nothing else, Kameneva’s added depth gives them more options for a prelims/finals shift in Tokyo.

Other Day 2 Winners:

  • After winning the 100 free on Friday, swimming just three-tenths away from his best time, Andrei Minakov added a win in the 100 fly on Saturday. Here, he touched in 52.41, just out-touching Mihail Vekovisev by .08 seconds. Minakov swam 50.83 when he won his silver medal in Gwangju.
  • After nearly hitting a best time in the 100 free on Friday, Arina Surkova almost did so again in the 100 fly on Saturday. She won the race by over a second, touching in 57.91, which is .13 seconds short of her lifetime best.
  • Teenager Ilya Borodin won the men’s 400 IM on Saturday in 4:15.28. That’s the 2nd-best time of his career, and the fastest behind his finals swim that took silver at last summer’s World Junior Championships.
  • Another 17-year old, Anna Chernysheva, won the women’s 400 IM in 4:49.31. That was a best time for her by almost 2 seconds, undercutting the 4:51.15 that she swam at the 2019 Russian Championships. The IMs are not strong races for Russia at the moment, especially on the women’s side, which leaves open a path to Tokyo if she can get under the qualifying times.
  • Junior swimmer Alexandra Khaylova won the women’s 1500 free in 16:53.55. She actually has no previous recorded swims of the event, having previously specialized in middle-distance races. That includes representing Russia at last year’s World Junior Championships in the 200 fly.
  • Daniil Shatalov swam 1:47.74 to win the men’s 200 free. That’s a best time for him by over a second, undercutting his previous best of 1:49.18.
  • After being upset in the 200 on Saturday, Grigory Tarasevich won the men’s 50 back in 25.04.
  • Alexandra Kurilkina won the women’s 50 back in 28.62.
  • Teenager Aleksandr Egorov won the men’s 800 free in 7:54.07, which was about 2 seconds short of his lifetime best. He previously won the 1500 on Friday as well.

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3 months ago

1) Prigoda is also the WR holder in the 200 br. SCM (2.00.16, he was nearly the first man to dip under the 2′ barrier when he won the title ad Hangzhou). I watched the race and Prigoda was very consistent with his stroke’s frequency and lenght over all the four 50m, whilst Chupkov accelerated a lot his stroke’s frequency in the last 50m (especially in the last 20 metres), but finished short in his comeback. 2) Another Russian swimmer in the 1.47 range in the 200 free: Daniil Shatalov (born in 1999) capable of a sub-27″ in the last 50 m both in the heats and the final. Good news also for the most interesting Russian junior swimmer in… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by nuotofan
3 months ago

Borodin is very exciting – I am used to seeing super fast Russian juniors who already possess perfect skills and herculean frames (among the boys), but Borodin appears to have so much room to improve and grow.

Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

Hi Dee, unrelated to this meet, but , remaining in Eastern Europe, David Popovici is swimming in a great way at Romanian Champs (49.26 in the 100 free, 1.49.03 in the 200 free and so on), his first meet after the Covid-break. Impressive young swimmer indeed..

Reply to  nuotofan
3 months ago

Thanks for the info, Nuoto. Fantastic swimming from David – His feel for the water at EYOF set him apart from the other young athletes; So much fluency in his stroke. A real talent to watch!

3 months ago

The amount of 2.07s is getting wild. Look forward to the Future Peaty of the 200 showing his head one day, someone has been born already that’ll go a 59/1:04.

Reply to  Ragnar
3 months ago

Chupkov will go 1:00mid, 103 high one day

Reply to  Yabo
3 months ago

The endurance is there, just needs the ability to go 58 low in the 100 individual if he’s gonna hit a 1:00 going out in the 200, it’s going to be so interesting to see what two years of unbothered(minus ISL) training looks like for everyone. watch regan drop a 56 mid and 2:02 next year

Reply to  Ragnar
3 months ago

i think generally men’s breaststroke is about to “burst” pretty soon. the number of 58s in the 100 and number of 2:07s in the 200 is just going to explode once another Peaty comes along. i think this same effect is happening in women’s backstroke

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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