Kolesnikov Breaks 50, 200 Back Meet Records On Day 4 In Helsinki


17-year-old Russian standout Kliment Kolesnikov continued his strong showing on day 4 of the 2018 LEN European Junior Championships in Helsinki, winning a pair of gold medals and setting a new Championship Record on three occasions.

After settling for a share of the gold medal with Romanian Daniel-Cristian Martin in the 100 back, Kolesnikov made his way to the top of the podium in the other two backstroke events on day 4.

He first broke his own meet record in the 50m semi-finals, clocking 24.77 to drop his 24.94 mark from 2016. Then, in the final towards the end of the session, he ripped a 24.52 to lower the record by another quarter of a second, narrowly missing his PB of 24.46 from the Russian Championships (which ranks him 2nd in the world).

German Michael Schäffner swam a lifetime best 25.31 in the semis, and dropped it down to 25.23 to snag silver, with Switzerland’s Thierry Bollin in for bronze in 25.35.

In between those two swims, Kolesnikov led wire-to-wire to win gold in the 200 back, clocking 1:55.83 to break the previous Championship Record of 1:56.65 set by Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki in 2009. Kolesnikov improved his season-best of 1:55.91 from the Russian Championships, moving up one spot to 5th in the world rankings. Martin won silver in 1:58.37, a lifetime best, and bronze went to another Swiss swimmer in Roman Mityukov (1:59.23).

Great Britain came away with a pair of gold medals on the night, as Freya Anderson won the women’s 50 freestyle and Emily Large had an exciting tie for the win in the women’s 100 fly.

Anderson, who won the 100 free earlier in the event, cruised into the final with the 4th fastest semi-final time of 25.74, and then got the job done in the final in a new personal best of 25.35. Elizaveta Klevanovich of Russia won silver in 25.43, and Kornelia Fiedkiewicz (25.53) of Poland edged Klevanovich’s teammate Sofia Chichaikina (25.54) by .01 for bronze.

Large, the 2017 World Junior champion in the 200 fly, trailed Belarus’ Anastasiya Shkurdai by a full 84-one-hundredths of a second at the halfway mark, turning in 27.92 to Shkurdai’s 27.08. However, her 200 fly prowess paid off big time coming home, as she made up that exact margin with a 31.45 as they tied for gold in 59.37. Hungary’s Petra Barocsai was the only other swimmer under a minute, also closing impressively in 31.64 to win bronze in 59.95.


  • Hungarian Ajna Kesely was looking for her 5th gold of the meet in the women’s 200 free, having already claimed victories in the 400, 800 and 1500 free, along with the 400 IM, over the first three days. To boot, she was looking to defend her title from last year. It was going according to plan for 150 metres, as she led by half a second, but Germany’s Isabel Gose had a blistering final 50 of 29.51 to run her down and out-touch her for gold. Gose was 1:58.17, under her previous best of 1:58.80, with Kesely one tenth back in 1:58.27. Polina Nevmovenko won bronze for Russia in 1:59.82.
  • 2017 silver medalist Akos Kalmar of Hungary won gold in the men’s 800 free, clocking a 7:55.41 for a new best time as he was just over half a second off of Mykhailo Romanchuk‘s 2014 meet record of 7:54.81. Paul Beaugrand of France used a 27.17 final 50 to steal silver in 7:56.23, with Johannes Calloni (7:56.50) of Italy 3rd and Maksim Travnikov (7:56.63) of Russia 4th.
  • Russia didn’t need Kolesnikov to easily win the mixed 400 medley relay, with Daria Vaskina (1:00.15), Vladislav Gerasimenko (1:00.90), Andrei Minakov (52.00) and Klevanovich cruising to the top spot in 3:47.99, breaking their meet record of 3:49.05 from 2014. Vaskina, Gerasimenko and Minakov all won their respecitve 50m stroke events, while Klevanovich (54.94) was coming off her 50 free silver earlier in the session. Great Britain won silver, with Large (59.17) and Anderson (54.10) swimming fly and free, and Germany took bronze.


  • Anastasia Avdeeva of Russia, the 200 back gold medalist, qualified 1st into the women’s 100 back final in 1:00.68, a new best, with her teammate Vaskina 2nd in 1:01.53.
  • Minakov topped the men’s 100 fly semis in 52.24, followed by Norway’s Tomoe Zenimoto Hvas (52.84) and 200 fly champion Kristof Milak (52.97).
  • Anastasia Gorbenko of Israel was the top qualifier by over two seconds in the women’s 200 IM semi-finals, posting a personal best of 2:13.88. She’s not far off the Israeli National Record of 2:13.29, and is also within striking distance of Ilaria Cusinato‘s meet record of 2:13.03. Kesely also advanced into the final here in 6th.
  • Great Britain’s Thomas Dean dropped his personal best from 1:50.35 to 1:48.87 in the prelims of the men’s 200 free, and took over a second off of that in the semis to qualify 1st in 1:47.64. Milak sits 2nd in 1:48.19, with Mikhail Bocharnikov (1:48.50) of Russia and 100 free winner Tomer Frankel (1:48.98) of Israel in 3rd and 4th.
  • Russia’s Anastasia Makarova leads a group of five women within four tenths of each other in the women’s 100 breast, sitting atop the heap in 1:08.46.
  • Italian Alessandro Fusco (1:01.92) leads Russia’s Gerasimenko (1:02.28) into the finals of the men’s 100 breast. Fusco will look to rebound after he qualified 1st in the men’s 200 breast semis before falling to 6th in the final.

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Vast and Furious
3 years ago

Crazy time by Gorvenko(Isr)- she’s 15!

Reply to  Vast and Furious
3 years ago

Israel had the fastest seed in the race too – She didn’t even make finals. They’re really beginning to dig up some talents. Groumi looks a great freestyler behind Loktev & Frankel. Nice to see a new nation breaking out.

Reply to  Vast and Furious
3 years ago

Her birthday is next month so she is still 14!
Israel possibly could have had two medals as Polonsky’s best time is 2.14 but she is having an off meet.

3 years ago

Based on his 100bk & 200fr on days 1 & 2, I didnt expect so much from Kolesnikov this week, but his 50 & 200 back races were so impressive. He will do something amazing at Euro Champs. As will Milak, who clearly hasnt had to bring his A game to Euro Juniors but has still turned in some super swims. Exciting days for European swimming.

Tom Dean a massive plus for Britain when we look at the 4×200. I tipped him as a breakout pre-meet, but I did not expect a 3 second 200fr PB. He is on a mightily speedy imrpovement curve, particularly his freestyle, and he could realistically drop a lot more time in the next 12… Read more »

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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