The All-Russia Swimming Federation has announced both a tentative roster for the 2020 Olympic Games, as well as its roster for the upcoming European Aquatics Championships.
The announced Olympic roster includes 4 new names who did not hit qualifying standards at the recent Russian Olympic Trials.
On the men’s side, that list includes sprint freestyler Alexander Shchegolev, an 18-year old who swam a personal best of 48.24 in the 100 free at the recent Russian Olympic Trials.
His best time going into the meet was just 48.81, and he bettered that in four separate swims across a week of competition before landing over half-a-second faster. That time placed him 5th in the final of the event behind:
With three swimmers flat-starting under 48 seconds, Russia is in medal contention in this race later in the year at the Tokyo Olympics. Shchegolev’s emergence as a 5th, along with the already-qualified Ivan Girev at 48.34, gives the Russians some options to rest their stars in prelims and still sail safely into the final.
The other three additions came on the women’s side in the former of Veronika Andrusenko, Valeria Salamatina, and Daria K. Ustinova (the backstroker).
Andrusenko is one of the key swimmers and stars of the Russian team historically, including a finals swim and 8th-place finish in the 400 free at the 2019 World Championships.
While she won the 200 free and placed 3rd in the 400 free at the Russian Trials, she didn’t clear the FINA “A” standard in any of her races. She is likely ‘frozen out’ of that 400 free individually by Anna Egorova (4:04.10) and Anastasia Kirpichnikova (4:06.26), both of whom cleared the “A” cut in the 400 free and both of whom beat Andrusenko handily.
But the 30-year old veteran might get the chance to swim the 200 free individually, but at a minimum will be a crucial relay leg for the Russians.
The same is true for Valeria Salamatina, who was 4th in the 200 free in 1:59.49.
Meanwhile, Daria K. Ustinova, the backstroker (as compared to the similarly-named freestyler, who was already qualified), was chosen likely on the strength of her win in the 200 back in a time of 2:10.82. While half-a-second short of the FINA “A” standard for the Olympics, she has been as fast as 2:06 in that event, and so is still a finals threat.
The selection is pending the results of the Russian team’s upcoming training camp which begins on May 8 in Volvograd. That camp was originally scheduled for Turkey, but because of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Russian leaders decided to hold the event domestically instead.
No events have been attached to the official selection, which means that the Russians have left themselves wiggle room to find ways to get swimmers where they need them – for example, Yulia Efimova, the defending World Champion in the 200 breaststroke, didn’t qualify in that event.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will run from July 23 – August 8, 2021 with the pool swimming competition to be held from July 24 through August 1.
Russian Tentative Olympic Roster (Last Name First)
Ustinova Daria K.
Ustinova Daria S.
European Championship Roster – Pool & Open Water
Russia has also outlined a roster of 30 pool athletes and 10 open water athletes for the 2021 European Aquatics Championships that will be held from May 10-23, 2021. The pool swimming events will run from May 17-23, while open water swimming runs from May 12-16.
The event will be a key preparation event for the Olympic Games in pool swimming and for the Olympic qualifying event in Setubal, Portugal in June for open water swimming.
As we’ve seen from several other countries, there are many more top-name athletes expected to participate than we normally see in an Olympic year. It’s not expected that most will be fully shaved or tapered, but the lineups will be deep.
The Russians will send most of their Olympic roster to the European Championships, with a few additions and subtractions. Tatiana Belonogoff, who recently achieved full Russian sporting citizenship after being raised in the UK, breaststroker Danil Semyaninov, and backstroker Grigory Tarasevich are all set to join the team for the European Championships.
Countries are able to send 3 swimmers per event to preliminary rounds of the European Championships, so in the example of Belonogoff, there is room for extra swimmers even where all of the Olympians within a stroke group are attending.
European Championships Pool Roster
- Belonogoff Tatiana
- Borodin Ilya
- Vekovishchev Mikhail
- Girev Ivan
- Grinev Vladislav
- Druzhinin Ilya
- Egorov Alexander
- Egorova Anna
- Efimova Yulia
- Zhigalov Alexander
- Zhilkin Andrey
- Kameneva Maria
- Kirpichnikova Anastasia
- Kolesnikov Kliment
- Krasnykh Alexander
- Kudashev Alexander
- Malyutin Martin
- Minakov Andrey
- Prigoda Kirill
- Rylov Evgeniy
- Semyaninov Danil
- Stupin Maxim
- Surkova Arina
- Tarasevich Grigory
- Temnikova Maria
- Fesikova Anastasia
- Chikunova Evgeniya
- Chimrova Svetlana
- Chupkov Anton
- Shchegolev Alexander
Ustinova Daria S.
European Championships Open Water Roster