Kliment Kolesnikov Blasts 22.11 To Set New World Record In 50 Back (SCM)


  • November 20-25, 2022
  • Kazan, Russia
  • Short Course Meters (25 meters), prelims/finals + semi-finals for 50 & 100 meter races.
  • Results

Sprinting dynamo Kliment Kolesnikov took down one of the oldest male world records on the books during the fourth night of finals from the Russian Short Course Championships in Kazan, setting a new mark of 22.11 in the men’s 50 backstroke (SCM).

Kolensikov’s performance takes down the eight-year-old world record of 22.22, set by Frenchman Florent Manaudou at the 2014 Short Course World Championships.

Although Russian swimmers are currently banned from competing in all FINA events, the global governing body has said that as long as all FINA rules are followed, world records set at the competition will stand up as official.

Kolesnikov had set a new Russian Record in the event in the semi-finals, clocking 22.31 to erase his previous mark of 22.47 set at the 2021 European SC Championships.

Earlier in the session, he swam a lifetime best of 20.88 in the 50 free leading off Moscow’s 200 free relay, having previously been 21.10.

The 22-year-old also posted a blistering time of 22.55 in the prelims, meaning he’s produced three of the eight-fastest swims ever over the last 36 hours. Kolesnikov now owns five of the 10 fastest swims of all-time.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 50 Backstroke (SCM)

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 22.11 – 2022
  2. Florent Manaudou (FRA), 22.22 – 2014
  3. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 22.31 – 2022
  4. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 22.47 – 2021
  5. Ryan Murphy (USA), 22.53 – 2021
  6. Ryan Murphy (USA), 22.54 – 2020
  7. Guilherme Guido (BRA) / Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 22.55 – 2019 / 2022
  8. Ryan Murphy (USA), 22.56 – 2021
  9. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 22.57 – 2021

When Manaudou set the world record at 22.22 in 2014, he absolutely annihilated the previous mark of 22.61, set by American Peter Marshall in 2009, and the record went unthreatened for nearly eight years. Kolesnikov’s 22.47 effort at the European Championships last year was the lone swim to come within three-tenths of Manaudou’s time until Tuesday.

Manaudou’s record was the fifth-oldest male SCM world record on the books, with the only older marks being Grant Hackett‘s 7:23.42 in the 800 free (July 2008), Paul Biedermann‘s 1:39.37 in the 200 free (November 2009), Yannick Agnel‘s 3:32.25 in the 400 free (November 2012), and Ryan Lochte‘s 1:49.63 in the 200 IM (December 2012).

Kolesnikov now sits a whopping 61 one-hundredths faster than the next-fastest swimmer in the world this season—Dylan Carter, who went three-for-three in the event on the FINA World Cup circuit, with his fastest time being 22.72.

2022-2023 SCM Men 50 Back

AUS22.52 WJR12/15
View Top 26»

Kolesnikov is also the former world record holder in the LCM 50 back, having become the first man under 24 seconds (23.93) in the semi-finals of last year’s Russian Championships before getting down to 23.80 in the final. That record has since been broken by American Hunter Armstrong (23.71).

Kolesnikov also previously held the SCM world record in the 100 back (48.58), a mark that was lowered by another American, Coleman Stewart, last August in 48.33.

Earlier in the competition at the Russian Championships, Kolesnikov swam a time of 48.82 in the 100 back to overtake American Shaine Casas (48.84) for the top time in the world this year.

Russian swimmers will be banned from all FINA competitions through at least the end of 2022, meaning they won’t be racing at next month’s Short Course World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

At the 2021 SC Worlds in Abu Dhabi, Kolesnikov won gold in the men’s 50 back (22.66) and 100 IM (51.09), and added an individual silver medal in the 100 back (49.46).

Kolesnikov has one more individual event on his schedule, the 100 freestyle, with two days remaining in Kazan.

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1 year ago

For 8 years I thought Manaudou’s abuse of his godly underwaters and brute force arm-windmill made 22.22 an untouchable time, but Kolesnikov’s insane distance per stroke really gave him that WR.

Comparing Manaudou’s physique to Kolesnikov, its clear each favour strength and technique respectively. Sometimes I wonder how a Popovici-esque talent (if we ever see one) would swim backstroke in the future

Reply to  Pillow
1 year ago

he said he was a backstroker, when he was younger. Might get back to it at some point… who knows.

Reply to  Pillow
1 year ago

Ceccon has a very similar build to Popovici and he destroyed the WR of USA’s most jacked swimmer.

Obese Legend
Reply to  Lopez
1 year ago

The best male backstrokers in recent years have been mostly skinny guys, from Xu, Rylov to Kolesnikov and Ceccon.

1 year ago

Oh. My Gosh. Smashed a record that stood for 8 years!!!!!

1 year ago

Please provide the names of the impartial non-Russian observers who can verify the results. Good journalism.

1 year ago

Surprised there aren’t more people immediately jumping to accuse him of doping; a pleasant surprise. Hopefully we’ve all matured past that point

Steve Nolan
Reply to  cacarul
1 year ago

Don’t accuse him of doping, accuse all the Russians of doping.

1 year ago

From the article: “Although Russian swimmers are currently banned from competing in all FINA events, the global governing body has said that as long as all FINA rules are followed, world records set at the competition will stand up as official.”

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

>all FINA rules are followed
Who is doing their doping control? Hopefully not other Russians.

Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 year ago

I assume RUSADA is doing the anti-doping control, but remember that as part of the terms of the current WADA penalties for RUSADA, there is international oversight of RUSADA’s activities. The RUSADA Supervisory board is made up entirely of non-sporting people, and includes an international observer.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Man I wish all that made me feel better.

1 year ago

that is a truly crazy record right there. We saw a lot of elite backstrokers rip so many 50s in ISL seasons and nobody got close to 22.1. Also it’s wilddddd to me that the 50bk record is now so close to 50fly.

Also given his age it might be taken down a tick further in the future

1 year ago

Manaudou’s record really was ahead of its time and the craziest part is that it isn’t even his main stroke!

1 year ago

I would like to see the best athletes race at short course worlds

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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