Rylov, Other Athletes React To Unique Russian Swimming Championships


Some of the top performers from the recently-concluded Russian Swimming Championships have given their impressions of the competition in local media interviews, both in terms of their performance and the unique circumstances of the meet.

Initially scheduled to serve as the qualifier for the 2022 World Championships, the athletes were simply racing for national titles last week in Kazan after FINA banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at Worlds back in March.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Rylov, who received an individual nine-month suspension from FINA for attending a pro-war rally in Russia, was among the big names in action at the competition, though he was well off his best times en route to placing third in the 100 back and fourth in the 50 back.

After the competition, Rylov told Russian outlet Match TV that his training volume has been on the lighter side for the last six months, noting that he tested negative for COVID but experienced symptoms for a few weeks, and also that he’s gained six kilograms (13 pounds) since the Tokyo Olympics.

Rylov says he’s been adding muscle and intends to put more focus on the 50 and 100 back as this year will be “experimental” with him banned from competing internationally for the foreseeable future.

The 25-year-old added that he’s looking to Russia’s Commonwealth Cup in July and Spartakiad in August as his next target meets.

Asked about the FINA suspension, he said “they didn’t give me any facts of what I was guilty of” (via translation) and that all FINA said was that he was “spoiling the reputation of swimming.”

Other swimmers speaking after the event were gold medal winners Ilya Borodin and Nika Godun.

Borodin, who broke the Russian Record in the men’s 400 IM with a time of 4:09.86, said his next goal is to get down to the European Record, which stands at 4:06.16 from Hungarian Laszlo Cseh in 2008.

Borodin, 19, was happy to eclipse the 4:10 barrier.

“This was (a big) goal, because few people in the world swim that time,” he told Match TV, with edits made for clarity through the Russian translation. “I’m not at my best, but I’m in good shape. Step by step, little by little, I manage to improve my results. I need to get to the European record, and then we’ll see.”

Godun was outspoken about how her results at the meet were all well and good, but that they don’t mean much without the ability to prove it on the international stage.

Godun won the women’s 100 breaststroke, her first Russian National title in the long course pool.

“Being the best in Russia is great, but no one needs it until the result is shown on the world stage,” she said.

Additionally, Russian Olympian Aleksandr Krasnykh, who was absent at the competition, said he missed it due to health reasons, though he didn’t elaborate on anything specific and is unsure when he’ll be able to return.

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6 months ago

Why does SwimSwam continue to support ROC Nation cheaters and Russian war crimes by providing positive coverage of the athletes and the country?

Reply to  AmericanDad
6 months ago

Russia should be banned from international competition hands down, however this article does not seem to have an opinion on the matter but is rather posting factual results and interviews. Xenophobia can be dangerous and further the divides between us when it means not even wanting to hear about what is happening over there.

Reply to  Swimswim
6 months ago

Factual results would be great, but the majority of the piece is not reporting of results nor the author’s commentary of said results. There are 15 paragraphs. Only 3 sentences contain results.

Interviews would also be fine, but SwimSwam didn’t conduct an interview and instead pulled quotes from Russian media sources. The quotes used are designed to portray these athletes positively and as victims in this situation. This is pro Russia propaganda.

7 months ago

Borodin will pop off soon

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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