Russian swimmer Vladimir Morozov was a member of his nation’s 4x100m freestyle relay last night in Rio. He and his teammates garnered a 4th place finish in the event, but the disappointment of falling short of the podium was overshadowed by the negative vibe in the air before the Russian squad even got wet.
24-year-old Morozov was one of the Russian swimmers originally banned from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games due to his name appearing within the McLaren Report. Although the former University of Southern California swimmer was ultimately cleared by both the Russian Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, Morozov’s, as well as most Russian athletes’, road to Rio has left a bad taste in fans’ mouths.
As such, any Russian swimmer who stepped on deck so far in Rio – Morozov, Yulia Efimova – have been unmistakable booed by the audience. But, this is not surprising to Morozov.
Of the fans’ reaction, Morozov said, “It was expected”. He said he’s had a hard time the past two weeks and expected his Russian squad to land upon the podium, but the race didn’t go according to plan.
“Everything turned out quite differently. About us, I thought it will be the first or the second, but it did not work out.”
Morozov cranked out a 47.31 split, the fastest of the Russian quartet last night. He will have another couple of shots at a medal, as Morozov is competing in the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle events.