World Jr Record Holder Ilya Borodin Will Miss Olympics After COVID-19 Positive

Russian IM’er Ilya Borodin has tested positive for COVID-19 during the team’s final training came in Vladivostok, before departing for Tokyo, and will miss the upcoming Olympic Games.

The positive test was announced by the All-Russia Swimming Federation on Wednesday. The federation did not say if Borodin had been previously vaccinated.

“The team’s specialists followed all of the isolation rules in accordance with the requirements of the (health service). All other athletes, coaches, and specialists have negative coronavirus test results.”

The 18-year old Borodin entered the meet with momentum as the European Champion in the 400 meter IM in May, where his 4:10.02 was a lifetime best. That swim ranks him 6th in the world in 2021 and made him the 7th seed heading into the Olympics.

Borodin, in spite of his young age, is the 16th-best performer of all-time in the event. His swim from the European Championships is the official World Junior Record in the event.

Borodin’s progression, 400 IM:

  • 2019: 4:12.95 (13th in the world)
  • 2020: 4:11.50 (2nd in the world)
  • 2021: 4:10.02 (6th in the world)

Borodin is the Russian Record holder in the 400 IM in both long course meters and short course meters (4:01.91). He was also scheduled to swim the 200 IM, where he was the 20th seed with a 1:58.00.

Borodin joins a growing list of Olympic athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, though he is the first qualified swimmer announced to be missing the Games because of a positive test.

A Lithuanian swimmer tested positive for COVID-19 upon entry into Japan last week, but two follow-up tests led to the conclusion that the first test was a false-positive result.

Russia is experiencing a 3rd wave of coronavirus cases right now that has the country almost at its peak in terms of daily cases. According to worldometers, the country has had an average of 24,765 daily cases over the last week. That’s just below the country’s peak of around 29,000 cases in December.

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 are at the highest level in Russia of the pandemic. Over the last week, they’ve averaged 755 deaths per day, which is the most they’ve reported throughout the pandemic.

While Russia was the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine, they report just 45 million doses administered – enough to cover about 15% of the country’s population.

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5 months ago

Oh no, that’s such a shame, I thought he looked like potential bolter in the pack. I feel quite bullish about Seto, Kalisz & Clareburt being the podium now.

Last edited 5 months ago by Dee
Casas 100 back gold in Fukuoka
5 months ago

That’s a shame. Hope we won’t see more cases like this in the following week, especially for swimmers who are in their prime.

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Fukuoka
5 months ago

It definitely is a shame. How did the ISL last fall manage not to have any positives that were reported in a decent size group of athletes over a 6 week span ?

Reply to  Comet
5 months ago

Throw the test in the trash and call it a negative

Reply to  Taa
5 months ago

It probably is a negative. The test is suspect approximately 20% of the time.

Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

It must be horrible for these athletes who are forced to withdraw at the last moment. I can’t even imagine how they feel right now.

Steve Nolan
5 months ago

This is going to keep happening

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Last edited 5 months ago by Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 months ago

I’m fearful

5 months ago

Yikes, i think i had him third or fourth for my pickems

Old Man Chalmers
5 months ago

anyone want to make a call on the biggest name to get covid?

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
5 months ago


Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
5 months ago

Not a ‘name’ by any stretch, but we’ve already had a world number 1 and gold medal favourite pull out. Had to be a bloody Brit, didn’t it aha.

It’s a horrible game to play, but I have no doubt there will be a big name at some point – This is just such a difficult situation.

Reply to  Dee
5 months ago

Yes, Amber Hill. Terrible news.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
5 months ago

We are all aware this can happen, take the risk and hope all goes as planned! Don’t be so shocked! Oh what, really how can that be. Deal with reality folks!

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Little Mermaid
5 months ago

Like to know the statics of the athletes that tested positive that actually got vaccinated? Always after the fact! Maybe I am wrong and these are athletes that are vaccinated.

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
5 months ago

Amber Hall, ranked 1 on Skeet shooing is out (Just now the news).

Based on probabilities of what already happened? Biles…

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
5 months ago

That’s almost worse than getting the cover photo for a swimswam article. Let’s not and say we did.

5 months ago

Really hope that the Federation is confident no other athletes were in close contact regardless of a negative test. The fact that they have negative tests as of today does not rule out exposure ad virus could be still brewing as typically it takes 5 to 7 days to show up. If all others fully vaccinated that would give comfort.

Philip Johnson
5 months ago

Hate to see it! Looks like Japan had the right idea of not allowing spectators since Covid can’t even be contained with the athletes so far.

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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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