2017 RUSSIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Monday, April 10 – Friday, April 14, 2017
- Moscow, Russia
- Live results
On the final day of the Russian National Championships premier sprinter Vladimir Morozov unleashed a new national record of 21.44, eclipsing his previous mark of 21.47 set back at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.
Morozov posted this time in the semi-finals which started off the meet’s last session, with the final coming towards the end of the session about an hour and forty minutes later. In the final Morozov got out-touched by countryman Evgeny Sedov for the win, 21.74 to 21.76, but nonetheless walks away with a new national record and an entry in the event for the World Championships.
The semi-final swim vaults Vlad into #1 in the world for 2016-17, surpassing Cameron McEvoy‘s mark of 21.55 set at the recent Aussie National Championships. Sedov’s 21.74 puts him in a deadlock for 3rd with Great Britain’s Ben Proud.
Morozov also had a strong showing in the 100 free, taking the win in a time of 48.28 which puts him 5th in the world.
After a fantastic 2013, Morozov hasn’t really had the success since that many would have predicted. He won the 2013 World University Games in a personal best 47.62 in the 100, a time that would have stood up for gold at the World Championships had he not made a tactical mistake. He went out sub-22 and paid for it on the way home, ultimately placing 5th.
His 21.47 in the 50 in Barcelona earned him silver, but he has been unable to win another individual freestyle medal at a long course major international championship since. At the 2014 European Championships he came away with a win in the 50 backstroke, but had disappointing showings in the 50 (12th) and 100 free (10th).
He was a gold medal contender in the 100 free at the 2015 World Championships held in his home country, but was disqualified for a false start in the semi-final. In the 50 he defeated past and future Olympic champ Anthony Ervin in a swim-off to earn a lane in the final, where he swam well but just missed a medal by 0.01 for 4th.
Amid controversy over the Russian doping scandal and him being initially pulled from the meet, Morozov had a tough showing in Rio where he missed the final in both the 50 and 100 free.
Now with all of that behind him, he appears to have re-focused and it’s paying dividends. His time in the 50 is obviously the fastest he’s ever been, and is just 0.04 off the time that won Ervin Olympic gold last summer. His 100 is right there as well. It is a very wide open event that has consistently been won in 47-mid to 47-high the last several years, a time that Vlad should be capable of if he’s back on his 2013 form.