2022 RUSSIAN SOLIDARITY GAMES
Day two of the 2022 Russian Solidarity Games saw yesterday’s big gun Kliment Kolesnikov back in the water, with the 22-year-old racing in the men’s 100m freestyle.
The swimming is part of a multi-sport event being hosted by Russia after most of their sporting federations were barred from international competition following the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The ensuing war has resulted in at least 5,110 civilian deaths according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and has displaced millions of people.
Russia’s banishment from many international sporting events include the recent FINA World Championships, which came after swimmer Evgeny Rylov appeared at a pro-war propaganda event.
The swimming competition features primarily athletes from Russia and Belarus, which was also banned from the World Championships for its part in the invasion, though a handful of other countries have also sent athletes (including Syria, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Armenia, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Sudan).
Entering Friday’s competition, Kolesnikov already took 100m backstroke gold in Kazan but tonight he ripped a 100m free mark of 47.97 for another top result. Opening in 22.69 and closing 25.28, Kolesnikov was well ahead of runners-up Vladislav Grinev and Vladislav Reznichenko who touched in times of 48.71 and 48.91 for silver and bronze, respectively.
Kolesnikov was the bronze medalist in the 100 free at last year’s Olympic Games, and without the top two swimmers from those Olympics participating (Caeleb Dressel and Kyle Chalmers), would have been a favorite at this year’s championships, were it not for Russia’s banishment.
In another men’s race, the 200m butterfly, Aleksandr Kudashev put on a show, clocking a time of 1:54.56 to win decisively. Splitting 54.11/1:00.45, 26-year-old Kudashev rocked a new lifetime best to get under the 1:55 threshold for the first time in his career.
Entering this meet, Kudashev’s career-quickest rested at the 1:55.02 he produced at this past April’s Russian Championships. Kudashev took the 2fly title at the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy.
Kirill Martynychev pumped out a super solid performance in the men’s 1500m freestyle, nailing a time of 14:55.79 for the gold. That outing represents the 2nd best time of his career, with only his 14:52.66 from Tokyo having been faster.
Martynychev’s time from the Olympics was conducted in the prelims while the Russian ultimately logged a result of 14:55.85 to place 6th overall.
17-year-old Evgeniia Chikunova was the fastest women’s 200m breaststroker tonight, wrapping up the gold in a time of 2:20.41. She topped the field by over two and a half seconds en route to producing the fastest time of her young career.
Chikunova’s previous personal best of 2:20.57 comes from the semi-finals of the 2020 Olympic Games. The teen ultimately finished 4th there in Tokyo with a mark of 2:20.88.
- Anna Egorova registered a time of 4:07.76 to take the women’s 400m freestyle as one of three women to dip under the 4:10 barrier. Behind Egorova was Anastasia Guzhenkova in 4:08.23 while Valeriia Salamatina was next in 4:08.47.
- Ilya Borodin topped the men’s 200m IM field in 1:58.30, while Aleksey Sudarev was also under 1:59 in 1:58.99. World Junior Record holder Borodin missed out on the Tokyo Olympics due to having tested positive for COVID-19 during his nation’s final training camp.