Kolesnikov Opens Russian Trials With 24.6 50 Back, Moves To #1 In The World


It was a relatively quiet opening session of the 2021 Russian Olympic Trials, with the top swimmers simply doing what was necessary to advance to tonight’s finals session.

The most notable swim of the morning came in a non-Olympic event, as Kliment Kolesnikov registered a time of 24.60 in the men’s 50 backstroke to take over the top spot in the world rankings this season. That distinction had previously belonged to countryman Grigory Tarasevich (24.77), who qualified second into the semi-finals in 25.04.

2020-2021 LCM Men 50 Back

View Top 28»

Kolesnikov is the world record holder in the 50 back, hitting a mark of 24.00 at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow. Today’s performance marks his quickest since the 2019 World Championships, where he won bronze in 24.35.

As has become somewhat of the norm at European meets, the stroke 50s will have both the semis and final contested during the same session tonight.

Out of five Olympic events contested in the prelims, only two saw a swimmer go under the FINA ‘A’ cut.

Ilya Borodin paced the men’s 400 IM in a time of 4:15.00, the third-fastest swim of his career, followed by Maxim Stupin (4:17.64).

Borodin was the 2019 World Junior champion in this event, and his personal best time of 4:11.50 from October now ranks him second in the world for 2020-21 after Daiya Seto‘s 4:09.02 at the Japan Swim on Saturday.

The ‘A’ standard sits at 4:15.84, and Stupin’s best time is a 4:15.37 from 2019, so he’ll make a push to get under that mark and get on the Olympic team tonight.

The other event that saw someone slip under the FINA ‘A’ cut came in the men’s 100 breaststroke, where Kirill Strelnikov (59.92) led the way over 200 world champion Anton Chupkov (59.93). The ‘A’ cut sits at 59.93.

Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin advanced into the semi-finals in third (1:00.42), while Kirill Prigoda was back in seventh (1:00.60).

Chupkov holds the Russian Record in 58.83, set in October, which ranks him fifth in the world this season.


  • Nika Godun broke 31 seconds for the first time in the women’s 50 breast, clocking 30.56 to move to #5 in the world and take the top spot in the semis over Yuliya Efimova (30.75) and Tatiana Belonogoff (31.03).
  • 30-year-old veteran Anastasia Fesikova led a group of four women sub-29 in the 50 back, putting up a time of 28.59. Fesikova set her best time of 27.23 at the 2018 European Championships, where she ultimately won the silver medal.
  • National Record holder Svetlana Chimrova qualified first into the women’s 100 butterfly semi-finals in a time of 58.63, with Arina Surkova (58.68) and Aleksandra Sabitova (58.73) hot on her heels. Sabitova, born in 2004, owns the Russian Junior Record of 58.18 set back in 2018.
  • Martin Malyutin (3:49.14) cruised to the top seed in the men’s 400 free over Alexander Egorov (3:49.64) and Aleksandr Krasnykh (3:49.90).
  • 20-year-old Irina Krivonogova paced the women’s 400 IM in 4:47.38, with 2018 European Junior 200 IM champion Anastasia Sorokina second in 4:48.26. Both swimmers were around two seconds off their respective best times.
  • In the men’s 4×100 free relay heats, the lone sub-49 split came from former World Junior champion Ivan Girev (48.75).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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 …

Read More »