MOSCOW, Russia, May 17. RUSSIAN swimmers made sure the fans in Moscow went out with some strong memories as they lit up the pool with a host of world-class times as the Russian Nationals came to a close.
A few days ago, China hyped up the Butterfly Wars between Jiao Liuyang and Liu Zige. That should have been reserved for the unreal display that occurred in the men’s 100-meter fly tonight here in Russia.
Vyacheslav Prudnikov absolutely lifted off in the event with a 51.60 to jump to the top of the SwimVortex world rankings. That swim cleared Takuro Fujii’s top time of 51.84 from Japanese Nationals earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Nikita Konovalov also charted a 51.83 for second tonight to also move to second in the world, while Evgeny Korotyshkin rocketed to third in 52.09 for eighth in the world rankings as well. That’s a seriously strong podium. Even fourth-place Evgeny Koptelov got into the action with a 52.50, although he’s been faster with a 52.33 from earlier this week.
Daria Ustinova, 15, tracked down her third World Junior Record of the meet with a scorching time of 59.78 to win the women’s 100-meter back. That performance is better than the 59.98 clocked by Wang Xuer of China at Chinese Nationals earlier this week, and should stand as the official record. Although, a 17-year-old Missy Franklin has the best time ever in the 14-17 age group with a 58.33 prior to FINA official recognizing WJRs.
Ustinova’s swim tonight vaulted her to a fourth-place tie in the world with Georgia Davies. Only Emily Seebohm (58.92), Mie Nielsen (59.36) and Fu Yuanhui (59.59) have been faster.
Meanwhile, Moscow’s Anastasia Klyarovskaya took second in 1:01.67 with Alexandra Papusha placing third in 1:01.70.
Svetlana Chimrova cleared another Russian record, this time in the women’s 50-meter fly. She clocked a 26.24 to win the title, beating her 26.32 from last summer in Dubai that also stood as the World Junior Record. Anastasia Lyazeva took second in 26.65 with Rosalia Nasretdinova placing third in 26.72.
The Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov closed out an amazing sprint week in Moscow with his fourth sprint title of the meet. He clocked a 21.55 in the men’s 50-meter free to vault to third in the world behind only Cesar Cielo (21.39) and Bruno Fratus (21.45). He also won the 100 free, 50 fly and 50 breast this week as well. Andrey Gretchin finished second tonight in 21.94 for 11th in the world while Sergey Fesikov took third in 22.03.
Andrei Nikolayev moved up to 11th in the world in the men’s 100-meter breast with a winning time of 1:00.41. Meanwhile, Grigori Falko took second in 1:00.66 to grab 19th in the world, while Anton Lobanov finished third in 1:00.68.
Nikita Lobintsov rocketed to victory in the men’s 200-meter free with a 1:46.76. That swim pushed him to ninth in the world, but Russia definitely would have liked to have seen national-record holder Danila Izotov in the field. Izotov, who owns the record with a 1:43.90 from 2009, injured his shoulder during yesterday’s prelims and scratched the rest of the meet. Alexander Sukhorukov placed second tonight in 1:47.39 with Andrusenko Vyacheslav placing third in 1:47.88.
Victoria Andreyeva hit the wall in 2:12.20 to claim the women’s 200-meter IM title. That swim vaulted her to 16th in the world rankings. Vitalina Simonova touched second in 2:13.92 with Ranohon Haman earning third in 2:14.53.
Semen Makovich kicked off finals with a winning time of 4:17.55 in the men’s 400-meter IM, while Alexander Tikhonov touched second in 4:18.24. Alexander Osipenko wound up third in the distance medley finale with a time of 4:20.69.
Vitalina Simonova edged Anna Belusova in the women’s 100-meter breast, 1:08.31 to 1:08.59, as the spectre of Yuliya Efimova continued to cast a shadow on the women’s breaststroke events all week in Moscow. Efimova is currently serving a retroactive doping ban that will end next February after being announced this week. Natali Ivaneeva finished third in 1:09.31 tonight.
The St. Petersburg foursome of Daria Ustinova (2:01.84), Irina Shyaeva (2:02.93), Veronika Popova (1:56.31) and Anna Zaitseva (2:03.24) topped the women’s 800-meter free relay by a wide margin with a time of 8:04.32. Their teammates Andrei Schabasov (55.47), Vyacheslav Prudnikov (51.18), Andrei Nikiolayev (1:00.75) and Oleg Tihobaev (48.46) clinched the men’s 400-meter medley relay title in 3:35.86 in a close contest as Vologograd’s Nikita Konovalov (55.49), Evgeny Koptelov (52.07), Alexander Chambers (1:01.08) and Vlad Morozov (47.25) finished second in 3:35.89 as Morozov just missed catching St. Petersburg.