Vladimir Morozov is set to compete at the 2018 Russian National Championships, where he will focus on the 50 free and 100 free.
At the 2017 Budapest World Championships, Morozov swam to a fourth place finish in the 50 free (21.46), but missed out on qualifying past prelims in the 100 free (48.99), finishing in 24th. Morozov also split a 47.52 on Russia‘s fourth place 4×100 free relay, and he pulled out a field-best 46.69 anchor leg in Russia‘s bronze medal 4×100 medley relay.
Morozov, who swam for the University of Southern California, is the Russian record holder in the 50 LCM freestyle (21.44) and the 50 LCM backstroke (24.52). He also holds national records in the 50 and 100 free and 100 IM in SCM. In the 100 IM, his best time of 50.30 also stands as the world record. Morozov is also an Olympic medalist after helping Russia to the 4×100 free relay bronze medal in 2012.
He has previously raced breaststroke and backstroke races both nationally and internationally as well. That includes in 2014, the last year similar in the Olympics to 2018 on timing, where he was the European Champion in the 50 backstroke. The domestic backstroke group has gotten significantly more crowded since then, however. He also took silver in the 100 breaststroke (SCM) at the 2016 World Championships.
Russia‘s selection criteria, however, allow just 2 swimmers (of the 4 allotted prelims spots at Euros) to be chosen from Russian Nationals. The remaining 2 spots can then be allocated to swimmers already on the team, or with some discretionary measures by Russian coaches. That incentivizes athletes to focus on a smaller list of primary events to qualify for the team, and then add events later. Such was also the decision made by 17-year old Kliment Kolesnikov, who will focus on the backstroke races in favor of the sprint freestyles at Russian Nationals.
The 2018 Russian National Championships are scheduled for April 20 – April 25 in Moscow. The meet will also be the qualifying meet for Russia‘s European Championships roster, as the 2018 European Championships will take place in Glasgow this August.