Kliment Kolesnikov Hit the Flags in 100 Back Final at Youth Olympics


When Russian swimmer Kliment Kolesnikov won the 100 backstroke gold medal on Monday evening in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, he became his country’s first champion of this year’s swimming events, and contributed to an 11-gold-medal haul already that has Russia sitting atop the overall Games medals table through 3 days of competition.

Still, the World Record holder and opening ceremonies flag bearer was disappointed with his time in spite of taking the win.

In an interview with the Russian Olympic Committee, Kolesnikov said he had hoped to be under 53 seconds (his final time was 53.26). In part, he blamed the fact that his hand hit the backstroke flags, which he said were hanging very low, and that caused him to lose tempo and almost miss a turn.

In spite of the time being slower than his 52.53 from the European Championships earlier this summer, Kolesnikov still kept things in perspective. “The main thing now is the gold medal,” he said. “That is more important – the fact that I brought gold to the team outweighs the time.”

Besides his individual swim, he also split a lifetime best of 48.17 to lead off Russia’s mixed 400 free relay – believed to be the 2nd-best time ever by a junior (behind Kyle Chalmers of Australia). He still has the 50 back and 200 back to swim individually.

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He hit the flags? How long are his arms??


Can we see a video or photograph please? I am far too lazy to look. It sounds seriously unlikely.

mike in dallas

….obviously, I need to return to the FINA rules, but I thought that making contact with the overhead flags — as opposed to the lane lines — was an automatic DQ.
Obviously not!


I mean a swimmer can’t help it if his arms are long

Raleigh Swim

It’s not like he Zuberoed it


That man actually used to be my coach


could it be possible he slipped up and was trying to say lane line?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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