Pavel Samusenko Swims PB in 100 Backstroke at Open Cup of Belarus


  • June 29-July 2
  • Brest, Belarus
  • LCM (50 meters)
  • Meet Results

Russia and Belarus continued competition this week at the Open Cup of Belarus. The two countries, which have both been expelled from international aquatics competitions, have formed a competition bloc of sorts.

The results of this meet don’t make it quite a direct retort to the FINA World Championships that wrapped up last weekend in Budapest; that event will come later this year at the Friendship Games.

For most of the big names in competition in Brest this week, the times speak more to it being a “drop taper meet” than “fully tapered competition,” though there were a few notable best times.

Among those best times was a 53.34 from 21-year old Pavel Samusenko in the men’s 100 backstroke. That improves his previous best time of 53.60 that was set in April, and in total improves his best time by a second in the 2022 calendar year.

Samusenko is in an uphill battle to make Russian international teams (once allowed again) in an event where Russia has the defending Olympic gold and silver medalists from the Olympic Games, but his time would have very-nearly finaled at the World Championships.

He won a European Junior Championships bronze medal in the 50 back in 2019, behind the new 100 backstroke World record holder Thomas Ceccon of Italy. He also has three World Junior Championships medals in relays and two World Championships medals in short course in relays.

In the women’s 100 freestyle, Russian Olympian Maria Kameneva won in 53.70. That result is faster than she swam at last summer’s Olympic Games (53.92) and is just a quarter-second away from her personal best in the event.

In the men’s version of the 100 free, Vladislav Grinev won in 48.67. For the former Russian Record holder in the event, that time is within half-a-second of what he swam at the Russian Championships in April.

While Russia has dominated the titles this week, Belarus’ two star swimmers both picked up victories as well. On the men’s side, Ilya Shymanovich won the 100 breaststroke in 59.37, beating out Russian Anton Chupkov, who is a 100 meter specialist. Chupkov finished 2nd in 5.82.

Arina Surkova won the women’s 50 fly in 25.74, beating out Belarus’ Anastasiya Kuliashova (25.96). Surkova’s best time of 25.61, a Russian Record, came in April of this year. That time would have placed her 7th at the World Championships. For Kuliashova, the swim is within a tenth of her personal best.

The Belarusian record holder, Anastasia Shkurdai, didn’t swim that race. Instead, she focused on the overlapping 100 back, which she won in 59.42.

Oleg Kostin won the men’s 50 fly in 23.13, which would have just-missed making the final at the World Championships.

Other Days 2 & 3 Winners:

  • Alina Zmushka won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:08.97 after a 1:07.59 in the semifinals.
  • Anastasia Duplinskaia won the womens’ 200 back in 2:13.45.
  • Nikola Zuev won the men’s 200 back in 2:00.11.
  • Anastasiia Sorokina won the women’s 400 IM in 4:47.70.
  • Martin Maultin won the men’s 400 freestyle in 3:52.87.
  • Alesia Akinchyts won the women’s 800 free in 8:52.70.
  • Viktoriia Starostina won the women’s 400 freestyle in 4:19.19.
  • Andrei Filipets won the men’s 1500 free in 15:25.44.
  • Maxim Stupin won the men’s 400 IM in 4:19.18.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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