Daryna Zevina, Uvis Kalnins Hoard Gold at Latvian Open Nationals

RIGA, Latvia, June 1. THE Latvian Open Nationals featured a dominant performance by Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, while Missouri State’s Uvis Kalnins put up one of the best meets by a Latvian swimmer ever.

Zevina had an impressive meet in Riga. She won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:10.85. Zevina then doubled up with a 2:01.81 in the women’s 200-meter free. Zevina, who already stands 12th in the world rankings in the 100 back with a 1:00.15 from the Ukrainian Championships, took the 100 back title in Riga with a 1:01.83.

Zevina nearly broke into the top 20 in the world in the women’s 50-meter back with a 28.64 for the a fourth win. Arianna Barbieri and Paige Miller currently anchor the top 20 in the SwimVortex world rankings with 28.56s. Still on the final day, Zevina raced her way to a fifth triumph in the women’s 100-meter free in 56.51.

Kalnins, a Missouri State Bear, had one of the most amazing meets in Latvian swimming history, setting multiple national records spanning the 50 free to the 1500 free.

Kalnins posted a 22.91 in the men’s 50-meter free prelims to down the Latvian record in the event. That swim lowered the 22.95 set by Andrejs Duda at the 2009 World Championships. Anton Latkin later beat Kalnins in the finale, 23.14 to 23.18. Kalnins won the men’s 400-meter free in 4:01.37 for his first title of the meet.

Kalnins also lowered the men’s 400-meter IM national record with a 4:25.68 in the finale. That swim smashed the 4:27.42 set by Guntars Deicmans back in 2003. Kalnins wasn’t done as he blitzed the men’s 1500-meter free with a 16:22.59 to set the Latvian record in that event as well. It lowered the historic 1993 mark of 16:23.04 set by Valerijs Kalmikovs. Kalnins took his fourth title with a 50.65 in the men’s 100-meter free on the last day.

Alona Ribakova grabbed the women’s 100-meter breast crown in 1:11.08. She doubled up with a 5:04.08 to win the women’s 400-meter IM. A third title went to Ribakova as she chased down the women’s 200-meter breaststroke title in 2:32.92.

Martii Aljand put up a 1:01.40 to win the men’s 100-meter breast, before doubling up with a 2:16.56 in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke. Aljand raced his way to a third title with a 27.91 in the men’s 50-meter breast.

Ralf Tribuntsov topped the men’s 100-meter fly in 53.79. Tribuntsov returned with a 55.39 to win the men’s 100-meter backstroke. On the final day, Tribuntsov hit the wall in 25.74 to win the men’s 50-meter back for a third title, while Janis Saltans reclaimed his Latvian record in the sprint back with a second-place 25.83.

Antons Voitovs initially took down the Latvian record in the men’s 50-meter back with a 25.86 in prelims. That effort downed the 26.12 set by Saltans in Berlin this year. Saltans also cleared 26 seconds for the first time in prelims with a 25.93 for the second seed.

Chrystelle Douaihy won the women’s 400-meter free in 4:37.31 before coming back to win the women’s 800-meter free in 9:21.10.

Povilas Strazdas captured the men’s 200-meter free title in 1:50.85. Janis Saltans picked up the men’s 50-meter fly crown in 24.42. Arkadi Kalinovski touched in 2:09.45 to win the men’s 200-meter fly. Kalvis Lakucs turned in a 2:08.50 to win the men’s 200-meter IM.

Nastassia Karakouskaya claimed the women’s 50-meter free in 26.23, just missing Gabriela Nikitina’s national record of 26.20 from 2011. Nikitina wound up winning the women’s 50-meter fly in 27.93.

Beatrice Kanapienyte touched out Vaiva Gimbutyte, 1:03.53 to 1:03.70, in the women’s 100-meter fly. Karleen Kersa claimed the women’s 50-meter breaststroke title with a 32.61. Alina Taran topped the women’s 200-meter fly in 2:26.89. Sindija Silina picked up the women’s 200-meter IM title in 2:26.05.