KAZAN, Russia, April 18. AT the Russian Nationals this evening, a pair of Russian records took a tumble as swimmers turned up the heat during semifinals in their respective events.
Vyacheslav Sinkevich vaulted to the top of the world standings in the men's 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:08.62 in semis. That swim downed the previous Russian mark of 2:09.36 held by Grigory Falko, and provided Sinkevich with a FINA A cut heading into finals. Marat Amaltdinov (2:13.20) and Anton Lobanov (2:13.21) qualified second and third in the event, and will be vying for a second FINA A cut behind Sinkevich during finals.
Then, one of the rock stars of Russian swimming especially after a jaw-dropping NCAA Championships this March, Vlad Morozov took down his Russian record in the men's 50-meter back with a blazing time of 24.80. That swim clipped time from his previous lifetime best of 24.86, and is among the top five times in the world this year with a chance to go even faster in finals. He will have plenty of motivation as Vitaly Melnikov (25.22) and Sergey Fesikov (25.42) both surpassed the FINA A cut with their semifinal swims and will be vying for the second spot in the finale.
Yevgeny Kulikov kicked off the evening with a victory in the men's 1500-meter freestyle timed final with a 15:14.96, less than half-a-second off the FINA A cut to secure a spot on the Russian roster heading to Barcelona. Evgeny Eliseev finished second in 15:17.97, while Aleksey Solpekovsky touched third in 15:23.23.
Danila Izotov, another Russian rocket along the lines of Morozov, led a foursome of Russians under 1:47 in the men's 200-meter free finale with a 1:46.37. Nikita Lobintsev secured second-place honors with a FINA A cut of his own with a 1:46.59, while Alexander Sukhorukov (1:46.66) and Artem Iobuzov (1:46.96) also beat 1:47 in the finale.
Russian-record holder Yuliya Efimova charted a FINA A cut in the finale of the women's 100-meter breaststroke with a 1:07.44, while Anna Belousova also punched her ticket to Barcelona with a second-place 1:08.04. Anastasia Chaun rounded out the podium with a 1:09.20.
In a bit of an upset, Viktoria Andreeva upended Russian-record holder Veronika Popova, 54.79 to 54.85, in the women's 100-meter free finale. Both made the FINA A cut, however, and will settle the score in Barcelona. Margarita Nesterova finished third in the finale with a 55.18.
Semen Makovich took home the men's 200-meter IM title with a 2:00.97, while Dmitry Zhilin finished second in 2:01.71. Dmitry Gorbunov checked in with a third-place time of 2:02.31.
In other semifinal action, Viktoria Andreeva paced the women's 200-meter IM with a time of 2:15.11, while Yana Martinova finished second in 2:15.56. Viktoria Malyutina earned the third seed with a 2:16.08.
Evgeny Koptelov topped men's 200-meter fly semis with a 1:58.82, while Nikolay Skvortsov cruised to second in 1:59.17 and should push the pace in the finale. Maxim Ganikhin earned third-seeded honors with a 1:59.43.
After an October injury claimed her chances in the 200-meter backstroke, Russian-record holder Anastasia Zueva bounced back in the 100-meter back with a 1:01.17 to lead semis, and also put up a FINA A cut time in the event. Maria Gromova (1:01.47) and Polina Lapshina (1:01.54) claimed the second and third seeds in the finale.
Special thanks to Rokur Jakupsstovu for translation.
Men 1500 freestyle final
Russian record 14.41.13 Yury Prilukov
1. Yevgeny Kulikov 15:14.96
2. Evgeny Eliseev 15:17.97
3. Aleksey Solpekovsky 15:23.23
Men 200 breaststroke semifinal
Russian record 2:09.36 Grigory Falko
1. Vyacheslav Sinkevich 2:08.62 * FINA A cut
2. Marat Amaltdinov 2:13.20
3. Anton Lobanov 2:13.21
Women 200 IM semifinal
Russian record 2:11.73 Dania Belyakina
1. Viktoria Andreeva 2:15.11
2. Yana Martinova 2:15.56
3. Viktoria Malyutina 2:16.08
Men 200 freestyle final
Russian record 1:43.90 Danila Izotov
1. Danila Izotov 1:46.37 * FINA A cut
2. Nikita Lobintsev 1:46.59 * FINA A cut
3. Alexander Sukhorukov 1:46.66 * FINA A cut
Women 100 breaststroke final
Russian record 1:05.41 Yuliya Efimova
1. Yuliya Efimova 1:07.44 * FINA A cut
2. Anna Belousova 1:08.04 * FINA A cut
3. Anastasia Chaun 1:09.20
Men 200 butterfly semifinal
Russian record 1:54.31 Nikolay Skvortsov
1. Evgeny Koptelov 1:58.82
2. Nikolay Skvortsov 1:59.17
3. Maxim Ganikhin 1:59.43
Women 100 freestyle final
Russian record 54.22 Veronika Popova
1. Viktoria Andreeva 54.79 * FINA A cut
2. Veronika Popova 54.85 * FINA A cut
3. Margarita Nesterova 55.18
Men 200 IM final
Russian record 1:59.81 Alexander Tikhonov
1. Semen Makovich 2:00.97
2. Dmitry Zhilin 2:01.71
3. Dmitry Gorbunov 2:02.31
Women 100 backstroke semifinal
Russian record 58.18 Anastasia Zueva
1. Anastasia Zueva 1:01.17 * FINA A cut
2. Maria Gromova 1:01.47
3. Polina Lapshina 1:01.54
Men 50 backstroke semifinal
Russian record 24.86 Vladimir Morozov
1. Vladminir Morozov 24.80 * FINA A cut
2. Vitaly Melnikov 25.22 * FINA A cut
3. Sergey Fesikov 25.42 * FINA A cut