KAZAN, Russia, April 21. THE penultimate day of the Russian Nationals came to a close with some startlingly strong times as the Russians continued to populate its FINA World Championships roster heading to Barcelona this summer.
Evgeny Korotyshkin crushed the men's 100-meter fly finale with a sterling 51.53. That is the top-ranked swim in the world right now, beating the 51.79 put up by Chad Le Clos in South Africa yesterday. Korotyshkin's time is not far off his 51.44 to win the silver medal in the event at the 2012 London Olympics behind Michael Phelps.
Nikolay Skvortsov snuck into the second spot on the Worlds roster for Russia with a 52.07, as he edged Nikita Konovalov (52.08) by the slimmest of margins for that spot as both Skvortsov and Konovalov moved into the top five in the world this year.
Continuing his epic week of competition, the Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov checked in with a 21.74 to lead the way in the men's 50-meter free semis. That time is up with the top times in the world like Florent Manaudou's 21.53 and Nathan Adrian's 21.70 as well as Fred Bousquet's 21.73, and Morozov has another session to lower his time. Sergey Fesikov (22.26), and Andrey Grechin (22.34) took second and third, while Evgeny Sedov took down his Russian youth record with a 22.38.
Morozov kept the ball rolling on what has been a stunning display of versatility by winning the men's 50-meter breaststroke event with a 27.69. That swim bettered his 27.81 from semis, and nearly jumped him into the top five in the world this year, and fell just short of the Russian record of 27.34 owned by Alexander Triznov. Oleg Kostin took second in 27.95 for the second spot on the Russia Worlds roster, while Kirill Strelnikov just missed with a third-place time of 27.97.
Svetlana Knyaginino, 29, nearly popped the Russian record in the women's 50-meter free with a 25.13 in semis. That swim just missed the 25.10 shared by Natalia Meshcheriakova and Veronika Popova. Rosalia Nasretdinova touched second in 25.46 for a Russian Youth mark, while Maria Reznikova qualified third in 25.55.
Yuliya Efimova blitzed the women's 50-meter breaststroke semifinals with a top-seeded time of 30.67. Not only did that swim eclipse the FINA A cut for the event, it also nearly caught the likes of Ruta Meilutyte, who stands at the top of the world rankings with a 30.57 from the British International Meet last month. Valentina Artemyeva placed second in semis with a 31.35 to also qualify for the World Championships, while Katerine Uymenova turned in a third-seeded 32.31.
A pair of swimmers notched individual swims in Barcelona in the women's 200-meter free finale as Veronika Popova topped the field in 1:57.41 and Victoria Andreeva finished second in 1:58.54, both under the FINA A cut for the event. Elena Sokolova (1:59.88) and Ksenia Yuskova (2:00.44) placed third and fourth in the event to potentially make up the women's 800-meter freestyle relay event at Worlds.
Anastasia Zueva did what she had to do to clinch another Russian Worlds roster spot, posting a 28.50 to win the women's 50-meter back finale after a 28.57 in semis yesterday. That's not challenging the top times in the world like Fu Yuanhui's 27.22 from Chinese Nationals just yet, but Zueva has time to round into form by Barcelona. It's incredible that she's already putting up these times of times after an injury in October forced her to cut the 200 from her event slate. Daria Ustinova, the 15-year-old prodigy, took second in 28.69 to further lower her Russian Youth record of 28.75 from yesterday. Maria Gromova claimed third in 28.73.
Russian-record holder Arkady Vyatchanin clocked another FINA A cut time, this time prevailing in the men's 200-meter back with a 1:57.54. That puts Vyatchanin among the top five in the world this year, but with some serious ground to make up if he wants to contend with the likes of Ryosuke Irie (1:54.72) for the world title. Anton Anchin finished second in 1:59.09, while Dmitriy Maltsev took third in 2:00.81.
Anastasia Krapivina took home the women's 800-meter free title in 8:45.52, while Elizabeth Gorshkova placed second overall in the event with an 8:46.33. Anastasia Ivanenko rounded out the podium in the distance free event with an 8:57.63.
Yana Martynova cruised to the top time in the women's 200-meter fly semis with a 2:12.78, while Maria Novikova touched second in 2:16.81. Ajgul Sagirova wrapped up the top three in 2:17.53.
Special thanks to Rokur Jakupsstovu for the translation
Women 800 freestyle final
Russian record 8:23.07 Elena Sokolova
Anastasia Krapivina 8:45.52
Elizaveta Gorshkova 8:46.33
Anastasia Ivanenko 8:57.63
Women 50 breaststroke semifinal
Russian record 31.05 Yuliya Yefimova
Yuliya Yefimova 30.67
Valentina Aremyeva 31.35
Ekaterina Uymenova 32.31
Men 100 butterfly final
Russian record 51.26 Evgeny Korotyshkin
Evgeny Korotyshkin 51.53
Nikolay Skvortsov 52.07
Nikita Konovalov 52.08
Women 200 freestyle final
Russian record 1:56.84 Veronika Popova
Veronika Popova 1:57.41
Viktoria Andreeva 1:58.54
Elena Sokolova 1:59.88
Men 50 freestyle semifinal
Russian record 21.64 Alexander Popov
Vladimir Morozov 21.72
Sergey Fesikov 22.26
Andrey Grechin 22.34
Women 50 backstroke final
Russian record 27.31 Anastasia Zueva
Anastasia Zueva 28.50
Dania Ustinova 28.69
Maria Gromova 28.73
Men 200 backstroke final
Russian record 1:54.75 Arkady Vyatchanin
Arkady Vyatchanin 1:57.54
Anton Anchin 1:59.09
Dmitry Maltsev 2:00.81
Women 200 butterfly semifinal
Russian record 2:09.52 Yana Martinova
Yana Martinova 2:12.78
Daria Shmakova 2:13.84
Anastasia Guzhenkova 2:14.02
Men 50 breaststroke final
Russian record 27.34 Alexander Triznov
Vladimir Morozov 27.69
Oleg Utekhin 27.95
Kirill Strelnikov 27.97
Women 50 freestyle semifinal
Russian record 25.10 Veronika Popova
Svetlana Knyaginina 25.13
Rosalia Nasretdinova 25.46
Maria Reznikova 25.55
Men 4×200 freestyle final
Russian record 6:59.15 Team Russia
Saint Petersburg 7:26.18
The Republic of Komi 7:39.00