Nina Rangelova absolutely dominated the Bulgarian Nationals, which ran from July 16-19th. Rangelova rounded out her program with four individual event wins (breaking or tying three national records in the process) and won five relay titles as well.
Her most impressive individual swim came in the 100 meter butterfly. Rangelova won in 1:00.99, which busted the national record of 1:01.47 set in 1988 by Nevyana Miteva. Notably, Anna Dolganina, the 2nd place finisher in 1:01.69, came dangerously close to the old record.
Rangelova broke her own national record in the 50 fly with her 27.63 in semifinals (the old record was a 27.71) and won the event in finals with a 27.64. The 24-year-old won the 50 free, too, in 25.77, tying her own Bulgarian record after winning the 100 free in 57.50. She actually swam a 55.56 in prelims, but still won by almost 1.5 seconds in finals.
On relay duty, Rangelova split sub-55 three different times on freestyle legs for her club, Mladost’91: a 54.98 in the mixed 400 medley relay, a 54.94 in the mixed 400 free relay, and a 54.75 in the women’s 400 free relay. She was the only swimmer to split under 1:00 in the women’s 400 free relay, and came back from a large deficit to win by two tenths. Notably, Aleksandar Nikolov anchored Psk Cherno More, who placed 2nd in the mixed 400 free relay, with an impressive time of 50.38.
Rangelova also swam fly on Mladost’91’s women’s 400 medley relay, splitting a 1:01.03 which was actually a couple tenths faster than their freestyle leg. The only event in which she didn’t swim finals was the 200 free, where she went 2:01.51 for the top seed in prelims. She likely would’ve had no trouble winning in finals, as no competitor broke 2:07.
Besides Rangelova’s impressive meet, several other Bulgarian records were broken.
Georgi Georgiev set a new 17-18 age group record in the 50 free with a 23.63 in semifinals. The record used to be a 23.87, set by Mihail Kachaunov in 2010. Georgiev, who turned 17 this year and will have next summer to improve upon this record, finished third in finals with a 23.90.
In the 50 fly prelims, Denitsa Georgieva broke the 13-14 age group record with a time of 30.21. She finished 8th overall with her 30.61 in finals.
The 15-16 200 free age group record was downed by Antani Ivanov with a 1:53.33 to win the national title. The old record of 1:54.42 hadn’t been touched since 1979, when it was set by Petar Kochanov. Kochanov set the 17-18 age group record of 1:54.04 in 1981, which Ivanov will probably take down as soon as he ages up. The 16-year-old also won the men’s 50 fly in 25.06; he holds the 15-16 age group record in that event at 24.81.
Another 15-16 boys record went down courtesy of Lyubomir Epitropov in the 200 breast. He posted a 2:21.72 which eclipsed his own week-old record of 2:22.93.
Damini Lv broke the men’s national record in 400 medley at 3:53.26. A look at their splits: Martin Zhelev (57.76) Ivan Gerov (1:04.78) Tsanko Tsankov (56.31) Ivan Dermendzhiyski (54.41). Another men’s relay record went down, thanks to Rangelova’s team Mladost’91. Georgi Stoyanov (53.96), Matey Rezashki (53.30), Valentin Atanasov (56.19), and Stoichko Stoicov (52.99) went a combined 3:36.44 to break the old record of 3:39.02, set by GT Racing in 2005.