Top Belarus and Russian Swimmers Compete in Belarus Open Cup: Day 1

Open Cup of Belarus

  • June 29-July 2
  • Brest, Belarus
  • LCM (50 meters)

Some of the top swimmers from Belarus and Russia are competing in Brest, Belarus this week and into the weekend. Brest is on the western side of Belarus and only about eight miles from Poland’s border.

Athletes from Belarus and Russia have been banned from international competitions, such as the 2022 World Championships that took place in Budapest this past week. Most national-level competitions though, such as Pro Swim Series meets or the French National Championships did not have athletes banned from those countries.

Highlighting the meet is 2016 Rio Bronze medalist and former world record holder Anton Chupkov of Russia. Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalists in the 4×200 freestyle relay Martin Malyutin, Mikhail Dovgalyuk, and Mikhail Vekovishchev are also in attendance. World and European male champions in attendance are Vladislav Grinev, Oleg Kostin, and Alexander Schegolev, as well as female world and European champions Maria Kameneva, Arina Surkova, and Rozalia Nasretdinova. 

The meet began today, June 29th. Winning the women’s 200 breaststroke was Alina Zmushko of Belarus in a 2:26.09. That time would have finished 11th at worlds. Her best time is a 2:24.33 which she swam at the 2021 Russian Championships.

Anton Chupkov captured the men’s 200 breaststroke win in a 2:09.98. Chupkov won the bronze medal in the event back at the 2016 Rio Olympics but finished just off the podium with a fourth place finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. His best time in the event is a 2:06.12, which is the former world record in the event.

Aliana Zhoroh of Belarus won the women’s 200 butterfly in a 2:21.49. Ivan Shamshurin of Belarus won the men’s 200 butterfly in a 1:58.97. Neither of those winning times would have qualified for semifinals at the 2022 World Championships.

Teenager Victoria Starostina won the women’s 200 IM in a 2:15.37.

After swimming semifinals of the 50 freestyle at the beginning of the session, the end of the finals session had the final of the 50 freestyle. Maria Kameneva won the women’s 50 freestyle in a 24.45, and Ilya Shevchenko won the men’s side of the event in a 22.49. Kameneva’s time would have finished fourth at the World Championships. Kameneva holds the Russian national records in both the 50 (24.20) and 100 (53.45) LCM freestyles.

Alesya Akinchyts of Belarus won the women’s 1500 freestyle out of the fastest heat during finals. She swam a time of 16:51.14 in her win. That time would have finished 19th at Worlds. It also was just off of her best time of 16:48.63 which she swam in April.

Russia’s winning 4×200 men’s freestyle relay was anchored with the fastest split of the night by Martin Malyutin. Malyutin swam a 1:47.54. That was the fastest split of the field by slightly over three seconds. Malyutin is known for his 200 freestyle speed as he is a member of Russia’s 4×200 SCM freestyle relay national record. His best time in the flat start 200 LCM freestyle is a 1:44.79. Malyutin was also a member of the ROC’s 4×200 freestyle relay at Tokyo.

Belarus’s Brest region was led off with a 55.01 from Anastasia Shkurdai in the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay. That was the fastest split of the field. Russia’s Arina Surkova also had a fast split as she led off in a 55.41 to help Russia off to their win. Surkova is known for being a sprint butterflier as she holds the Russian national record in the 50 LCM fly (25.62).

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About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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