Russian Swimming Cup Final
Russia’s elite swimmers will make their formal return to elite pool competition this weekend in Obninsk as the first of 3 senior national-caliber meets for the end of 2020.
Later this month, the country will host a short course national championship in St. Petersburg, and in December, they will host a long course national championship in Kazan.
Among other highlights, this will be European Junior Champion Tatiana Belonogoff‘s first opportunity to race as a Russian sporting citizen.
The 19-year old, who grew up in and previously represented Great Britain, moved to Russia in June of 2019 to begin training in St. Petersburg. Qualifying via her mother, who is Russian, she officially earned approval for Russian sporting citizenship from FINA earlier this month.
Chupkov will race all 3 breaststroke events at the meet, while Rylov is taking on a more unusual schedule for him: he’s entered in the 50 back as his only backstroke event, eschewing his specialty the 200 back. His other entries will be in the 100 free as the 2nd seed and the 200 free as the 14th seed.
Rylov did swim a leg on Russia’s silver medal winning 400 free relay at last summer’s World Championships, but would need to drop almost 11 seconds from his best time of 1:58 (which was done in 2012) to hope for a spot on their 800 free relay in Tokyo.
That will leave Grigory Tarasevich as the lone member of Russia’s 3-headed backstroke group (Kliment Kolesnikov isn’t racing at the meet) to swim the 100 and 200 backstrokes.
Neither of the country’s female individual medalists at the World Championships, the aforementioned Efimova nor backstroker Daria Vaskina will be at the meet.