Kolesnikov On 50 Back WR: “I Wasn’t Really Expecting That”


Kliment Kolesnikov got his 2021 European Championship meet off to a phenomenal start on Monday, breaking his world record in the men’s 50 backstroke and becoming the first man in history under 24 seconds.

Kolesnikov rocketed to a time of 23.93, lowering the world record of 24.00 that he set at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow.

After the race, the 20-year-old said the record came as a bit of a surprise, but he did believe he could get it done after a strong 24.23 showing in the prelims.

“I wasn’t really expecting that, but at the same time I was thinking that I can beat 24.00,” Kolesnikov told SwimSwam’s Coleman Hodges. “After swimming in the morning, I was sitting in my room and was really thinking about that, because at Russian Nationals I was really close to beating my personal record.

“That’s it. I beat it, I’m happy with that. Next time, I’ll try to do my best again.”

In terms of how much rest he had prior to the meet, Kolesnikov said he did his best to stay on top form from Russian Trials (in early April) until now, doing a slight taper for this meet. “I kept my energy, nothing special,” he said.

Two months out from the Olympic Games, Kolesnikov hopes for a good showing this week in Budapest before putting in some work to be in prime condition for Tokyo.

“I think this competition can show, personally for me, in which stage, in which form I am right now. How ready I am right now,” he said.

“And then, after this competition, in the next two months before the Olympics, I’ll try to do some work to be more ready for the Olympics and show my best result.”

After breaking the 50 back record, Kolesnikov followed up by recording the fastest split in the field in the men’s 400 free relay (47.10), helping lead the Russian men to gold in a new European Championship Record.

Along with tomorrow’s 50 back final, Kolesnikov is also entered in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 back — the three individual races he’ll take on at the Olympic Games in July.

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Beverly Drangus
8 months ago

Looks like he’s carrying about 30lbs less muscle mass than Murphy

8 months ago

He looked sensational swimming that WR.

He’ll challenge the 100 record if he swims like that.

He said what?
Reply to  Marklewis
8 months ago

100% agree!

He said what?
Reply to  He said what?
8 months ago

Someone does not like me. LOL Always the one down vote. LOL

8 months ago

It was only a semi,
But my 50 back it went crazy,
I wasn’t expecting that

8 months ago

First world record of 2021

8 months ago

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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