Sergei Chepik, the head coach of the Russian National Swimming Team, says that the country still plans to hold two national championship meets in 2020. That is in spite of the fact that the 2020 World Short Course Championships, scheduled for December, were moved to 2021 on Thursday.
Chepik says that a draft calendar for the remainder of the year, based on an expectation of a June return to training, will have a long course and a short course national championship in 2020, with the Short Course Championship being held in November as scheduled. That meet was originally designed to be the selection event for the World Short Course Championships, but Chepik says he sees no reason to cancel it in spite of the Worlds move.
“In spite of the cancellation of the World Championships, we do not plan to abandon the Russian championship in short course,” Chepik told RIA Novosti, a Russian state-run media organization, this week. “In the draft calendar, if we return to training in June, we will have two Russian championships. One in long course, the other in short. We hope that they will be able to carrythis out, but everything will depend on the epidemiological situation and on when we get back to preparation, because you need everyone to have the opportunity to train in the pool.”
Russia has not yet announced planned dates for a long course championship, with the original dates of the short course championship being November 10-15 in St. Petersburg.
Russia’s Ministry of Sport announced last week a list of guidelines for the safe return to sporting activity amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Members of Russian National Teams can resume training under phase 1 of the plan, as can properly-distanced athletes of other levels. Also under phase 1, professional top-level sporting competitions can begin without in-person spectators.
As of Friday, Russia has over 326,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection nationally and 3,249 confirmed deaths. While the number of daily new cases has begun to slow over the last week to fewer than 10,000 per day, the number of deaths is still increasing.