Kolesnikov Speaks On WR, Euros Drug Testing, Efimova/King, & More

Following a World Record in the 50 backstroke (24.00) at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, United Kingdom, Russian star Kliment Kolesnikov talked with Russian media outlet Sport-Express about a wide array of topics.*

*For all of the non-Russian readers, if you do not have a translator extension built into your browser you may have to download one.

The 18 year-old Kolesnikov made a name for himself internationally in 2017 when he shattered the World Junior Record in the 200 back with a 1:55.49 at Russian Nationals (April 2017). That performance qualified him for the World Championships in Budapest, where he finished 4th in the 200 with a 1:55.14 – a new WJR that still stands today. In December, he added on a regular World Record in the 100 backstroke in short course meters.

But this year, Kolesnikov has looked stronger in the 50 and the 100. As mentioned above, he broke a longstanding super-suited 2009 WR in the 50 back at Euros with a 24.00. He also won the 100 in Glasgow with a quick 52.53 – a lifetime best that crushed his own WJR of 52.95 set the day before. In the 200 however, he missed the final (and semifinals) due to the 2-per-country rule – cruising in prelims with a 1:57.31. Teammates Evgeny Rylov (2017 World Champion) and Grigory Tarasevich were faster with a 1:56.67 and 1:57.07, respectively.

In the interview with Sport-Express, Kolesnikov answered a broad range of questions including: his thoughts on the WR, missing the 200 back final, drug testing at Euros, the public rivalry between Russian Yulia Efimova and USA’s Lilly King, the performances of fellow backstroker Ryan Murphy, the notion of training and going to school in the United States, and much more.

Please note: all of the responses below were translated from Russian to English using Google Translate, which could slightly alter the context.

On his 50 back World Record:

“I felt from this only joy. Because, in fact, I did not really want to beat the world record. And that’s why I did not fully understand what was happening at first. And only in 5-6 seconds, when I realized what had happened, joy swept over me.”

On drug testing at the European Championships:

“I five times handed in doping tests during the championship of Europe. Nobody came at 5 AM and did not break training. To all sportsmen there was an absolutely equal attitude.”

On the Efimova/King rivalry – specifically not shaking hands on Rio Olympics podium:

“I believe that this story is the result of personal dislike. This humiliation of the opponent. It’s disgusting to look at this behavior. Every opponent should have respect, because he does exactly the same job. And your personal dislike in public is not worth showing.”

On Ryan Murphy:

“Yes, I watched his swim. I saw him perform at the Olympics in Rio, where he set a world record in the relay race, looked now as he performed at Pan Pacific, where at a distance of 100 m he swam out of 52 seconds – the best result of the season in the world. Murphy is an outstanding backstroker of our time. I’m already thinking about how we will meet with him, if, of course, everything will be fine, next year at the World Championships and at the Olympics in Tokyo.”

On training in the United States:

“In the Russian team, many people are being offered to go to study and train in the US. They closely follow us. I had such offers. There were thoughts on this matter. But since there are two years left before the Olympics, I would not like to change something in my way of life. Moreover, it is so crucial to go to another country, to another coach, to a new society. I will prepare for Tokyo in Russia in the conditions that are now. The results are, progress is also – I will not change anything.”

You can read the the rest of the interview in its entirety here.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

SwimSwam could interview him directly. His English is quite good.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

Yet somehow the Google Translate version of this still sounds vaguely Russian. (Did I read it in an accent? Ohohoh you bet your bottom dollar I did!)

Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 years ago

It must be read in the voice of Ivan Drago.

Reply to  Boknows34
2 years ago

I must break you

2 years ago

Is “Spinners” a nickname for backstroke or is it just a miss in the translation?

Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

“Spina” = “back” in Russian.

Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

“Spinnist” is the Russian word for a person who swims backstroke. It has nothing to do with the English word “spin”. Although this stroke sometimes looks like that 😀

Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

Possibly related to the word “spine”?

2 years ago

Lol personal dislike and not two failed doping tests.

Reply to  IRO
2 years ago

In that case I have a ‘personal dislike’ of her (and all drug cheats) too

Reply to  IRO
2 years ago

one yes, second case was due to WADA, they claimed Meldonium’s influence to death, yet they had no idea how long the substance stayed in the body. They only gave 3 month notice to athletes, when the substance stays in hair etc for longer and then get re-released into the body. If the athletes were Brits, the media in UK would have a lynch mod to WADA office.

Reply to  Alex
2 years ago

What was the reason to take this drug at the first place? Health issues, as she claimed it initially or the desire to get an advantage? Probably the later one because suddenly after January 1, 2016 there was no more need to look for replacement of meldonium to continue the treatment.

Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

this ^
tarasevich used meldonium as well for example as did many others. they’ll always be dirty wether they win world titles like efimova or not.

Reply to  anonymoose
2 years ago

There are plenty of reason substances like that. So tomorrow WADA bans some substance is banned and all the athletes that took them in the past becomes a cheat? These substances were known to WADA, they had it on watch list (along with coffee, lol), so it wasn’t an unknown substance like designers drugs THG, and even westerners could have taken them. Cheats are like Wiggins and team sky in cycling, they are getting TUEs at will and using these drugs at crucial stages of cycling.