KAZAN, Russia, April 22. VLAD Morozov, the Sizzling Siberian, closed out the Russian nationals with a sweep of the sprint freestyles and an opportunity to continue the breakout year he's had.
Morozov, the NCAA sprint king in the 50 and 100 freestyle, likely overshadowed today's recent news of Arkady Vyatchanin's decision to not represent Russia in the pool with a 21.81 to win the splash-and-dash final. Though slower than the 21.74 he swam in yesterday's semifinals, it is his second-fastest performance ever and keeps him firmly in place as the fourth-fastest swimmer in the world this year, behind Florent Manaudou (21.55), Nathan Adrian (21.70) and Fred Bousquet (21.73). Roland Schoeman's 21.88 from the South African nationals on Saturday is not too far back in fifth. Finishing second in the race today was Nikita Lobintsev, who put up a world championship qualifying time of 22.19 to put him 15th in the world. Andrey Grechin was third with a 22.28.
Svetlana Knyaginino missed out on another attempt to break the shared national record of 25.10 shared by Natalia Meshcheriakova and Veronika Popova in the 50 free, winning the final with a 25.20 after posting a 25.13 in semifinals. Rosalia Nasretdinova and Margarita Nesterova tied for second with a 25.60. The second-place time did not get under the FINA qualification standard of 25.34 needed to get a second swimmer in the event at the world championships, so a swimoff to determine who goes to Barcelona will likely not be required.
Yulia Efimova, the 2009 world champion in the 50 breaststroke and 2011 runner-up, gets the opportunity to race for another world championship podium spot after winning that event today in Kazan with a 30.56. She won silver in Shanghai in 2011 with a 30.49. Placing second today was Valentina Artemyev with a 31.38, while Anastasia Chaun was third with a 32.13.
Showing off some versatility, Popova won the 200 butterfly today with a 2:10.81. Yana Martynova placed second with a 2:12.79 and Anastasia Guzhenkova was third with a 2:14.06.
Semen Makovich completed a sweep of the individual medley events, taking the 400 IM in a junior record of 4:17.78, breaking the former mark by two seconds and earning a spot on the world championship team. Alexander Osipenko took second with a 4:20.27, while Alexander Tikhonov was third with a 4:23.07.
National record holder Elena Sokolova closed out the individual competition with a 4:14.51 to win the women's 400 freestyle, well off her national record of 4:06.30 set in 2008. Xenia Yuskova placed second with a 4:17.45, while Valeria Salamatin placed third with a 4:18.92.
Just as they did in the women's 100 backstroke final, Anastasia Zueva and Maria Gromova battled in the leadoff legs of the women's 400 medley relay. Though Zueva won the individual race, Gromova touched first in the relay, 1:00.76 to 1:00.89. Gromova's Moscow team won with a 4:03.84, while Zueva's Penza team was second with a 4:07.58. Sverdlovsk placed third with a 4:08.85.
Morozov led off Volgograd's men's 400 medley relay with a 54.17 to help the team win with a 3:35.53. Moscow was well back for second with a 3:39.68, but was helped greatly by Evgeny Korotyshkin's 51.45 butterfly leg. Penza was second with a 3:44.99.
Special thanks to Rokur Jakupsstovu for translation.
Women 50 free final
Russian record 25.10 Veronika Popova
1. Svetlana Knyaginina 25.20
2. Rosalia Nasretdinova and Margarita Nesterova 25.60
Men 50 free final
Russian record 21.64 Alexander Popov
1. Vladimir Morozov 21.81
2. Nikita Lobintsev 22.19
3. Andrey Grechin and Evgeny Lagunov 22.28
Women 50 breaststroke final
Russian record 30.05 Yuliya Yefimova
1. Yuliya Yefimova 30.56
2. Valentina Artemeeva 31.38
3. Anastasia Chaun 32.13
Women 200 butterfly final
Russian record 2:09.52 Yana Martinova
1. Veronia Popova 2:10.81
2. Yana Martinova 2:12.79
3. Anastasia Gushenkova 2:14.06
Men 400 IM final
Russian record 4:13.14 Andrei Krylov
1. Semen Makovich 4:17.78
2. Alexander Osipenko 4:20.27
3. Alexander Tikhonov 4:23.07
Women 400 freestyle final
Russian record 4:06.30 Elena Sokolova
1. Elena Sokolova 4:14.51
2. Ksenia Yuskova 4:17.45
3. Valeria Salamatina 4:18.92
Women 4×100 medley final
Russian record 3:56.03 Team Russia
1. Moscow 4:03.84
2. Penza Region 4:07.58
3. Sverdlovsk Region 4:08.85
Men 4×100 medley final
Russian record 3:30.55 Team Russia
1. Volgograd Region 3:35.53
2. Moscow 3:39.68
3. Penza Region 3:44.99