Kolesnikov Blasts 52.44 100 Back Best Time In Prelims At Russian Trials


After recording one of the five fastest swims in history on Saturday in the 50 backstroke, Kliment Kolesnikov carried that momentum into the second preliminary session at the 2021 Russian Olympic Trials, setting a new personal best time in the 100 back.

The 20-year-old scorched a time of 52.44 in the heats, splitting 25.51/26.93 to take over sole possession of 13th on the all-time top performers list. Kolesnikov’s previous official PB was 52.53, set at the 2018 European Championships, which ranked him 14th all-time. However, he led off the mixed 400 medley relay at the meet in 52.51, which, if you included in the rankings, tied him for 13th all-time with American Nick Thoman.

Nonetheless, Kolesnikov moves up one spot to 13th, though he’s still almost a full half-second back of countryman Evgeny Rylov‘s national record of 51.97.

It’s also important to note that five of the 12 men that have been faster than Kolesnikov did so in 2009, during the super-suit era.

All-Time Performers, Men’s 100 Back (LCM)

  1. Ryan Murphy (USA), 51.85 – 2016
  2. Xu Jiayu (CHN), 51.86 – 2017
  3. Aaron Peirsol (USA), 51.94 – 2009
  4. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 51.97 – 2019
  5. Matt Grevers (USA), 52.08 – 2012
  6. Camille Lacourt (FRA) / Mitch Larkin (AUS) , 52.11 – 2010/2015
  7. David Plummer (USA), 52.12 – 2016
  8. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 52.24 – 2009
  9. Junya Koga (JPN), 52.26 – 2009
  10. Helge Meeuw (GER), 52.27 – 2009
  11. Aschwin Wildeboer Faber (ESP), 52.38 – 2009
  12. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 52.44 – 2021
  13. Nick Thoman (USA), 52.51 – 2009
  14. Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS), 52.57 – 2009

In the world rankings this season, Kolesnikov moves into the #2 spot behind China’s Xu Jiayu, who went 52.35 in March.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Back

View Top 27»

Rylov qualified second into the semis in a very solid 53.04, showing off his back-end speed by closing slightly faster than Kolesnikov in 26.85.

Nikolay Zuev (54.24) and Grigory Tarasevich (54.25) sit third and fourth.

In the women’s 100 back, Maria Kameneva showed that she’s in prime form after clocking 59.65 in the prelims, less than four-tenths outside of her 59.27 personal best set in November 2019. The time, which is also Kameneva’s second-fastest ever, would qualify her for the Olympics if done in a finals setting.

Kameneva had already broken 1:00 this season in 59.92, with this swim moving her up from 15th to 13th in the world rankings.


  • Seven different men cracked 24 seconds in the 50 fly prelims, led by Andrei Minakov in 23.27. Minakov set a best time of 23.05 at the Russian Championships in October that ranks him third in 2020-21.
  • 2017 World Junior champion Ivan Girev made a statement in the heats of the men’s 200 free, closing in a blistering 26.76 to claim the top seed in 1:47.06, his fastest swim in two years. Martin Malyutin, fresh off winning the 400 free and qualifying for his first Olympic team, sits second in 1:47.51, followed by Mikhail Vekovishchev (1:48.60), Alexander Shchegolev (1:48.74) and Aleksandr Krasnykh (1:48.85).
  • Belarusian Alina Zmushka paced the women’s 100 breast prelims in 1:07.37, lowering her national record of 1:07.51 set in 2019 and equalled last year. Among the Russians, Tatiana Belonogoff (1:07.58), Evgeniia Chikunova (1:07.74) and Yuliya Efimova (1:07.96) all cracked 1:08 to easily advance.
  • Anastasia Kirpichnikova qualified first into the women’s 400 free final in 4:08.83, just off her best of 4:08.36 set in December. The FINA ‘A’ cut is within her grasp, sitting at 4:07.90. Anna Egorova joined her under 4:10 in 4:09.93.

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1 year ago

The 51.97 from Rylov isn’t the national record as it was in a mixed relay.

1 year ago

I wonder if there’s much left in the tank. What chances of a WR later today?

Reply to  Ger
1 year ago

Semifinal this evening and final tomorrow. He definitely has something left. The question is only how much.

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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