The All-Russia Swimming Federation (WWF) has announced a 38-swimmer roster, made up of 17 men and 21 women, for the 2019 World Championships. This year’s Worlds will be held from July 21st through 28th in Gwangju, South Korea.
There are two notable revelations from the roster: both inclusions.
Both butterflier Svetlana Chimrova and 14-year old breaststroke phenom Evgenia Chikunova have been included in the roster.
Chimrova’s inclusion is noteworthy because she didn’t hit the Russian-mandated qualifying standard in finals of any of the 3 butterfly races. She won both the 100 (57.98, 57.63 in semi-finals)) and 200 (2:10.44) meter races, and was 2nd in the 50 fly (26.34) behind only a Russian Record from Arina Surkova.
Still, she was chosen for the squad anyway, likely justified by her need on the medley relay. Chimrova is the National Record holder in the 100 and 200 meter butterflies, but her progress this season has been hampered by a week-long hospital stay that interrupted her training in January.
As for Chikunova, the 14-year old who won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:22.67, breaking the Russian Junior Record in the event. In spite of rumors after the meet that she would skip the World Championships to focus on World Juniors, which would allow 3rd-place finisher Yulia Efimova to defend her title in the 200 breaststroke, Chikunova’s name does appear on Russia’s roster for the senior version of the World Championships.
While there are no events listed with Russia’s entries, Chikunova missed the final of the 50 breaststroke and was just 5th in the 100 breaststroke, so neither of those events make sense as an entry for her over the 200. The 200 breaststroke runner-up, Maria Temnikova, is also on the roster, and she too had no other top 2 finishes at the meet.
Sergei Chepik, the head coach of the Russian National Team, says that Chikunova is included as an alternate, and would swim only if another breaststroker had to withdraw from the meet. Save that, her focus will be on the World Junior and European Junior Championship meets instead.
This is a dramatic increase in roster size from 2017, where Russia sent only 29 swimmers (19 men, 10 women) to the World Championships. There they finished in a tie with China for 3rd on the medals table, having won 3 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronze medals. That included World Championships from Evgeny Rylov (men’s 200 back), Anton Chupkov (men’s 200 breast), and the aforementioned Efimova (women’s 200 breast).
The Russian men will have a few relay spots to replenish this year. 2017’s 400 medley relay butterflier Alexander Popkov did not make the team this year; nor did key 800 free relay swimmer Danila Izotov.
Russian Roster for the 2019 World Championships (Last Name listed first):
- Vekovishchev Mikhail (Kaluga region)
- Girev Ivan (Moscow region)
- Grinev Vladislav (Moscow)
- Dovgalyuk Mikhail (Moscow)
- Druzhinin Ilya (KhMAO-Yugra)
- Zhilkin Andrey (Moscow)
- Kolesnikov Kliment (Moscow)
- Kostin Oleg (Nizhny Novgorod region)
- Krasnykh Alexander (Republic of Tatarstan)
- Malyutin Martin (Omsk Region)
- Minakov Andrei (Saint Petersburg)
- Morozov Vlad (Moscow)
- Nikolaev Andrey (Kaluga region)
- Palatov Alexander (Krasnoyarsk region)
- Prigoda Kirill (St. Petersburg)
- Rylov Evgeny (Moscow region – Khabarovsk Territory)
- Chupkov Anton (Moscow)
- Avdeeva Anastasia (Vladimir region)
- Andrusenko Veronika (Republic of Tatarstan)
- Belousova Anna (Sverdlovsk region)
- Belyakova Victoria (Penza region)
- Vaskina Daria (Moscow)
- Guzhenkova Anastasia (Samara region)
- Egorova Anna (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra – Kaliningrad region)
- Efimova Yuliya (Moscow region)
- Kameneva Maria (St. Petersburg – Orenburg Region)
- Kirpichnikova Anastasia (Sverdlovsk region)
- Lobova Sophia (Krasnoyarsk Territory)
- Mullakaeva Daria (Sverdlovsk region)
- Openina Arina (Krasnoyarsk Territory)
- Salamatina Valeria (Sverdlovsk region)
- Surkova Arina (Novosibirsk region)
- Temnikova Maria (St. Petersburg)
- Ustinova Daria K. (Sverdlovsk region)
- Ustinova Daria S. (St. Petersburg)
- Fesikova Anastasia (YaNAO – Kaluga region)
- Chikunova Evgenia (St. Petersburg)Chimrova Svetlana (Moscow)
That 200 br. at Russian Champs was dramatic: Efimova, certainly not in great shape, took it way too hard splitting under 1.08 at 100 m, and last 20 metres was still in the water.
Technically the best option for Russian hopes to medal in this race would be the duo Efimova-youngster Chikunova, but Temnikova was second in that race and conquered the right to participate. If Swimming had the more logical 3 athletes per nation or the World Champion (Efimova) can participate rules existing in Track and Field, these situations wouldn’t happen.
Yes, it would be good, or at least you (national federation) would have the possibility to change one of the two swimmers e.g in case of injury, illness, after the deadline of the entries. But there’s none.
Sergei Chepik: “Chikunuova is included in the roster as an alternative. It doesn’t guarantee she will perform at the World Champs, but if one of the breaststrokers have to withdraw, we will consider to put her in.”
Hope my translator is roughly correct.
Hmm. Interesting article, thanks for sharing!
The article actually says that it wasn’t a decision of 14 years old Evgenia Chikunova to compete at junior competitions this year instead of World Championships. It was announced right after final race despite the fact that she won national title and has beaten qualification times. Her win technically kicked out Efimova from competing at 200 breast event, but the coaches’ decision let Efimova to be selected. Now they decided to keep Chikunova in reserve. I’m wondering what has happened.
Maybe hey will take young athletes slong to east asia as a pre Olympic orientation . Maybe Efimova will not want to do the 200 . It is difficult to do the 3 .& she has medley rekay .
The coach didn’t said that it is up to Efimova’s decision to race or to not. The better translation would be if something unpredictable that is beyond control happens then Chikunova will swim.
Hey, she swam 2:22. What orientation you are talking about. She needs experience of big meet. That would be Olympic orientation.
I think Efimova knows something fishy about Russian swimming federation and is blackmailing them 😀
And for clarity, she will be competing at junior worlds.
I figured they would choose the cheater efimova to be in the 200.