Kolesnikov on 100Free/Back Double: “I’m not a robot… or Michael Phelps”


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • European Record: 47.12, Alain Bernard (FRA), 2009
  • European Championship Record: 47.50, Alain Bernard (FRA), 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 48.57
  1. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 47.37
  2. Alessandro Miressi (ITA), 47.45
  3. Andrei Minakov (RUS), 47.74

The men’s 100 freestyle saw an incredible five men break 48 seconds, led by Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov in a new Championship Record of 47.37. Kolesnikov breaks the previous Meet Record of 47.50 set by Alain Bernard in 2008, while falling .06 shy of his Russian Record set last month (47.31).


  • European Record: 52.11, Camille Lacourt (FRA), 2010
  • European Championship Record: 52.11, Camille Lacourt (FRA), 2010
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 53.85
  1. Apostolos Christou (GRE), 52.77
  2. Mewen Tomac (FRA), 52.86
  3. Robert Glinta (ROU), 52.97
  4. Yohann Ndoye Brouard (FRA), 53.01
  5. Hugo Gonzalez (ESP), 53.14
  6. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 53.15
  7. Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 53.34
  8. Luke Greenbank (GBR), 53.69

Apostolos Christou became the first Greek man under 53 seconds in the first semi-final of the men’s 100 backstroke, touching in a time of 52.77 to lower the 2009 National Record of 53.03 previously held by Aristeidis Grigoriadis. Christou showed immense opening speed in the race, flipping in a blistering 25.17.

Frenchman Mewen Tomac (52.86) and Romanian Robert Glinta (52.97) joined Christou sub-53 from the second semi, both breaking 53 for the first time. Tomac had previously been 53.10 in March, while Glinta breaks his Romanian Record of 53.26 from the prelims.

France will have a great chance to get two men on the podium tomorrow, with Yohann Ndoye Brouard sitting fourth in 53.01.

The biggest story of the race was defending champion Kliment Kolesnikov, who would’ve qualified first with his prelim time (52.32), but instead he finishes 16th in 54.86, being just minutes out of winning the 100 free final. His countryman Evgeny Rylov, the 2018 silver medalist behind Kolesnikov, will be in the mix tomorrow after going 53.15 for sixth.

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Tea rex
1 year ago

I’ll take this opportunity to point out that semifinals at the Olympics are total filler nonsense and need to be eliminated.

Reply to  Tea rex
1 year ago

Agree wholeheartedly

1 year ago

I like this guy a lot

1 year ago

He spoke well. I became a fan. Good learning experience and he is still young.

Talking about back-to-back super tough, how about this guy, Joe Ponti of Switzerland. 200 fly 1.55 and right after having to swim 4×200 free on the 3rd leg, he swam 1.45.9!!! Amazing!

Reply to  tnp101
1 year ago

No he swam 1.57

1 year ago

Well that really wasn’t confidence building for him and seems unlikely he’ll develop the ability to swim this double between now and Tokyo.

With Rylov and Kolesnikov both swimming the 100 back semi not long before the Russians are really gonna struggle against a rested American 4×100 aren’t they?

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

There’s only one event in between the 100 back semifinal and the 4×100 free relay. That is pretty bad for Russia, BUT it’s possible that Rylov and Kolesnikov could both swim 90% in the semifinal and make it back with a 52.7 or something.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

It’s a tough ask for sure.

Much tougher than, say, Phelps 2008 and Agnel 2012, who cruised 1:46s in the semis of the 200 free, and even got more rest for the 4×1 relay than Rylov/Kolesnikov would get.

Phelps 2008 and Agnel 2012 dropped absolute bombs in the relay, but who knows if they would’ve had the same speed had the 100 back and 200 free been flipped in the schedule.

1 year ago

I love his insight. He tried the double, didn’t quite work out, but he took valuable lessons from this trial. Looks like the 100 free was important to him and he got it. Can’t wait for the showdown in Tokyo. Fingers crossed it’s still happening.

1 year ago

Question: In watching the LEN broadcast, they said that a medal ceremony had to be delayed because Kolesnikov needed medical attention – but I didn’t get the who matter set clearly in mind — Anyone know the full story?

He said what?
1 year ago

I remember the announcer saying something along the lines that he was having trouble because there was too much lactic acid in his system. That was it unless I didn’t hear the rest.

Reply to  He said what?
1 year ago


Daddy Chupkov
1 year ago

Lol what an idiot, he forgot to turn off lactic acid.

1 year ago

Lowkey think he should focus more on free than backstroke at OGs. I don’t think he will beat Xu, Rylov or Murphy and the relay clashes with the 1 back semis

Last edited 1 year ago by Pvdh
Reply to  Pvdh
1 year ago

It’s a pretty sh-t schedule and this practice run wasn’t exactly confidence building for him. What’s even worse for the Russian 4×100 is this double affects Rylov too.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

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