On-Fire 17-Year-Old Shkurdai Downs Another Record Hitting 59.0 100 Back


On-fire 17-year-old Anastasiya Shkurdai shows no signs of slowing down at this 2020 Belarus Open, producing her second national record en route to another lifetime best.

After already taking the 100m free on night 1, as well as the 100 fly on night 2, with the latter event’s time of 56.95 setting a new Belarusian national standard, the teen tackled the 100m backstroke here in Brest.

Entering this meet, Shkurdai’s career-quickest 1back mark rested at the 1:00.59 she put up at this same meet in 2019. Just over a year ago, the teen posted splits of 29.75/30.84 to take the national title in a new record-setting effort.

After already threatening that mark with a speedy 1:00.85 morning swim to snag the top seed with ease, Shkurdai entered entirely new territory by crushing a winning mark of 59.08 for a statement-making swim. She managed to drop nearly 2 solid seconds in just one year’s time. Splits are not available at time of publishing.

For perspective, Shkurdai’s 59.08 here tonight would have rendered the Belarusian in 5th place at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships.  However, the World Junior Record is still a mile away and will most likely stay that way for years to come, as American Regan Smith owns the mark with the 57.57 World Record she set as relay lead-off in Gwangju.

Additional Notes:

  • National record holder Yauen Tsurkin already took the men’s 100m free last night in Brest and he doubled up on that performance with the 100m fly victory here on night 3. The 29-year-old veteran punched a winning effort of 51.73 to come within .29 of his own national record from 5 years ago.
  • The 50m breaststroke winner here, Ilya Shymanovich, did not compete in the 100m breaststroke today.

As a refresher:

The original Belarus Open was set for May of this year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the nation is one of the few European countries that remained generally open during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. A self-quarantine restriction was put in place for inter-country travelers, but parades, various sporting events, and general ‘normal’ way of life continues.

Per the U.S. Embassy in Belarus, on July 13, 2020, the Belarus Ministry of Health reported there are 65,411 registered cases of COVID-19 in Belarus, an increase of 165 since the Ministry’s most recent previous report on July 12; 55,492 patients have recovered, and 468 individuals have died. The Ministry has not provided a cumulative total of recovered patients, so the total number of COVID-19 infections in Belarus to date is unknown. According to the Ministry of Health, Belarus has conducted over 1,141,000 tests since January 23.

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11 months ago

Looks like she may have the most to benefit from the Olympic postponement, shes come out of nowhere

Reply to  PVSFree
11 months ago

Agree, at this rate she could be contender in 2021.

Reply to  PVSFree
11 months ago

Not quite out of nowhere, she has long been talked about in Europe. A spectacularly powerful young woman; I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Reply to  PVSFree
11 months ago

She’s a 4-time Euro Junior champion across three championships winning her first gold at 14.

At last year’s World Juniors, she won two silver medals in the 50/100 fly, finishing between champion Torri Huske and bronze winner Claire Curzan in both events. Anastasia has certainly been on the radar for a while now and will be for many years to come.

11 months ago

Glad to see Tsurkin still getting it done. He definitely doesn’t get enough credit for his start. Might not be better than Dressel of Tandy but not too far away either

11 months ago

Yes, definitely a name to watch! Great versatility.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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