The Russian swimming federation congratulated Kolesnikov’s honorary title (with the name ‘Honored Master of Sports of Russia’ coming through a Google Chrome translation) in the report, along with commending his coach, Dmitry Lazarev.
Indeed, Kolesnikov has certainly mastered the sport this year, highlighted by becoming the fastest 50 backstroker in LCM in history with his European title-winning performance in August. Taking down a super-suited record is impressive in its own right, and it’s that much more of an astounding achievement considering the Russian star just turned 18 this summer. Kolesnikov was 24.00 in that swim, beating Liam Tancock’s WR, and he of course now holds the World Junior record and the Russian national record.
With seven European titles in tow, along with the six Youth Olympic Games titles, Kolesnikov is barrelling into the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics with a boatload of momentum. Kolesnikov, who went in round 3 of SwimSwam’s non-Americans fantasy draft for Tokyo, will be a likely member of Russia’s 400 free relay, in addition to a potential medley relay lead-off, making him a talent to keep a close eye on over the next two seasons.