Sinkevich Crushes Russian Record in 200 Breast on Day 3 of Russia Cup

After the 100 breaststroke final on Wednesday at the 2013 Russian Cup, their World Championship qualifying meet, we commented that runner-up Vyacheslav Sinkevich was going best times and had a chance to be pretty quick in his better race, the 200.

Even his times in the sprints, though, didn’t accurately foreshadow the monstrous time he put up in the 200 breaststroke semi-final on Thursday. There, Sinkevich took the top seed in 2:08.62 which knocks seven-tenths off of the old Russian Record set by Grigory Falko in 2009 in 2:09.36.

That swim, just in semi-finals, already makes Sinkevich the first swimmer under 2:10 this year, and would have put him 5th in the Olympic final last summer. He was 10th in the 200 breaststroke in London.

Most shocking about his swim were his splits: out in a 1:02.0, and back in a 1:06.6. With the improved speed he showed earlier in this meet, one might have guessed that he’d start this race faster than he usually does. Quite the contrary, in fact, as compared to his previous personal best (2:09.90 from the Olympic semifinal), Sinkevich started this race in a nearly identical first 100 split, and made up over a second on the back-half of that race.

That race was but a semi-final, and he’ll have the opportunity to lower his time tomorrow; for today, the best overall race, though, was the final of the men’s 200 free, where six Russians were 1:46’s to make the 800 free relay for Barcelona.

The race win went to Danila Izotov in 1:46.37, followed by Nikita Lobintsov in 1:46.59, Alexander Sukhorukov in 1:46.96, and Artem Lobuzov in 1:46.96. If one were to aggregate those times, that’s already a 6:06.58, without accounting for relay starts, which would have put them right in the mix with Germany and China at last summer’s Olympics for a medal. Repeating the success will be the challenge though, after the Russians missed even making finals in that 800 free relay in either London or Shanghai at the 2011 World Championships. Their 5th finisher was Mikhail Polishchuk in 1:48.39, which doesn’t leave them much room to play around in prelims.

Breaststroker Julia Efimova, after coasting through prelims, won teh women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:07.44 with a very good second 50 (she split 33.0-34.4). The 21-year old doesn’t have to be on top form to make FINA standards in this race, this swim is right around what she typically goes at qualifying meets (though maybe a touch slower than she was last season). The runner-up Anna Belousova was also under the FINA A standard in 1:08.04, so the 16-year old should join Efimova in Barcelona. Anastasia Chaun, who is better in the 200, took 3rd in 1:09.20.

In the women’s 100 freestyle, Victoria Andreeva pulled off a mild upset by winning in 54.79, with the National Record holder Victoria Popova taking 2nd in 54.85. In total, Andreeva dropped a full second from her previous lifetime best at this meet.

Though one of their best female swimmers was only the runner-up here, there’s a silver lining for the Russian women. The first is that both were better than the FINA Automatic Qualifying standard, so both can swim the race individually at Worlds. The 2nd is that, with Margarita Nesterova (55.18) and 15-year old Maria Baklakova (55.37), the Russian women might have their best free relay in a long time. All four are young enough that they should be just as good, if not better, by the time the 2016 Olympics roll around.

Semen Makovich won the men’s 200 IM in a lackluster 2:00.97, which is well off of his best time. That means no automatic qualifiers for Worlds for the Russians, unless they choose to give Makovich a pass on a B-standard in honor of gaining experience, as  he’s only 17-years old.

The other final on the day was the men’s 1500 free, where Evgeny Kulikov became the first double winner of the meet in 15:14.96. That adds to his earlier win in the 400, though without an A-time in either race, his qualifying status is in limbo. Evgeny Eliseev was 2nd in 15:17.97. as the Russian distance group continue to lag behind the sprinters and 200 freestylers.

Back to semi-final action, Vlad Morozov took the top seed in the 50 backstroke in a new Russian Record of 24.80. That broke his own best time of 24.86 set last summer, and put him ahead of Vitaly Melnikov who was 25.22.

Anastasia Zueva, making her first appearance at this meet, topped the 100 back semi-final in 1:01.17. A post-Olympic injury limited her training, so she’s not all that far ahead of the second seed Maria Gromova. 14-year old Darina Ustinova, who won the 200 back running away, is the 4th seed in 1:01.66. She had a huge drop in the 200 from semis to finals, so watch out for her on Friday.

There were no standout swims in the semi-finals of the men’s 200 fly, the women’s 200 IM.

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9 years ago

How old is sinkevich?

any video out there for his 200 breast swim?

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Why does Vlad Morozov swim all these backstroke races before his best events, the 50 free and the 100 free? Keep your energy!

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Bob, Mon Cheri,

Maybe, Vlad is just having fun? Is he going to swim any breaststroke event? Would love to see that too.
Vlad won 50 back but finished second on 100 back. Will we see repeat of that in freestyle? Will Vlad be very good on 50 but not so good on 100? Love Vlad but I am waiting to see his LC times…Do not believe in his 100m prospects. His “all out” freestyle from SCY he displayed at NCAAs may not work so well in LC.

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Because 4 Russian Championships is better than 2 .

The Ministry of Sport has valued The Universtity Games as a top priority in 2013 & Athletes are keen to get on the team. Home venue & lotsa rubles on offer – hence the youth surge.

Russians know what it is like to have euros taken away so it is back to rubles.

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Also maybe because swimming 50 back is fun and not nearly as energy-draining as … say 200 free/back/breast/fly or 400 free/IM or 800 free or 1,500 free.
Oh, on that point, 50 back is also not as draining as 100 free/fly/back/breast.

Morozov best events may be 50/100 free, BUT GUESS WHAT… had he not swum 100 back at last year’s trials, he would not have swum any individual event in London.

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Some swimmers during taper like to swim at least an event or two to get rid of their first race jitters or to stay loose.

bobo gigi
Reply to  swimmer
9 years ago

I accept this last answer as the best possible reason I have read.

9 years ago

Izotov has literally been swimming that time for 3 years, I think its time for an improvement or it may never come. His stroke was very rocky, which was properly supported with the suits, but he hasnt been stellar without them.

Very impressive 200m Breaststroke time. I’m immensely impresed by how much faster men’s breaststroke has become this past year.

Reply to  john26
9 years ago

What i found funny in Izotov case is the fact his 1.43.90 was made in a LEG SKIN, not a full body suit.I was thinking he was capable to do a lot better than his 1.46s…

Reply to  DDias
9 years ago

So were Irie and Peirsol. Each of whom was likely assisted by over 2 seconds. When the 100% poly suits were allowed again, Irie’s times in the LZR were about 1.5seconds slower. Thats my personal take on how much the suits helped, but I think in some people’s case, it helped more than it allegedly did.

Reply to  john26
9 years ago

Remember that Izotov had shoulder surgery in the fall and didn’t get back to serious training until January, so he could be in much better condition by Barcelona.

Philip Johnson
9 years ago

Thoroughly impressed by the men’s 200 free final, a display of some real depth. Would of liked Izotov to get in the 1:45s, but a low 1:46 is solid. He will get it in the summer though. Lobintsov could also get 1:45 as well. After a disastrous 2011 and 2012 when they failed to even make the final at Worlds and the Olympics, The Russian men seem to be back to form. They could be fighting China for that minor medal.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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