Evgeny Rylov Swipes 100 Back National Record From Kolesnikov; Efimova & Fesikova Make Fourth Olympics

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The third night of Russian Nationals concluded Monday from Kazan with a national record from Evgeny Rylov in the 100 backstroke, while Anastasia Fesikova and Yulia Efimova both qualified for their fourth Olympic Games by virtue of their second place finishes.


Men’s 200 Free

Reigning Worlds bronze medalist Martin Malyutin won a stacked 200 freestyle final with a 1:45.18, which is second in the world for 2021 behind only Katsuhiro Matsumoto of Japan, who won silver ahead of Malyutin at the 2019 Worlds. Malyutin is leading a strong quartet of 200 freestylers that should factor into the 4×200 free relay gold medal in Tokyo this summer. The Russians won silver at the last two World Championships but have not won the gold at the world level since the 1992 Olympics despite being frequently in the picture in that relay.

Malyutin won ahead of Ivan Girev (1:45.68), Alexander Shchegolev (1:45.82) and Aleksandr Krasnykh (1:45.88) as four sub-1:46’s is going to be a tough quartet to beat ahead of the Games. Girev is building on his legacy as the gold medalist in the 100 and 200 free from the 2017 World Juniors as he will make his Olympic debut this summer, while Shchegolev swam on Russia’s silver medal winning 4×200 free relay at the 2019 World Juniors.

Krasnykh has been around the scene, making the 200 free final in Rio, finishing eighth, and winning the bronze the next year at the 2017 Worlds.

Women’s 100 Back

Mariia Kameneva won the 100 back with a 59.19 ahead of Anastasia Fesikova (59.51) as Kameneva will make her Olympic debut and Fesikova will make her fourth at age 30. Fesikova has one Olympic medal to her name – a silver in the 200 from 2012, as she was fifth in Beijing in the 100, fourth in London, and ninth in Rio, not making the final at the last Games.

Daria Vaskina was locked out in third place at 1:00.71.

Men’s 100 Back

Reigning Worlds silver medalist Evgeny Rylov broke the official Russian record in the men’s 100 backstroke to earn his second trip to the Olympics with a 52.12, beating Kliment Kolesnikov (52.24), who was also under his own record of 52.42 from semi finals. Rylov was a 51.97 at the 2019 Worlds leading off the mixed relay, but official records cannot be broken in mixed relay lead-offs so Rylov’s swim tonight in Kazan is officially a national record. His time also just missed Camille Lacourt’s 52.11 continental record from the 2010 European Championships.

Rylov is the two-time reigning World champ in the 200 backstroke and was sixth in Rio in the 100 before a bronze in the 200. Rylov is one of the top backstrokers in the world but still had his hands full with Kolesnikov, the world record holder in the 50 backstroke, and Grigory Tarasevich, who was third at 52.93.

Tarasevich, who swam for the University of Louisville, finished ninth in Rio in the 100 backstroke.

Kolesnikov will make his Olympic debut as he had a promising junior career as well as a good showing at the ISL this past autumn with a world record in the 100 back short course meters.

Women’s 100 Breast

Yulia Efimova made her fourth Olympic team Monday with a 1:06.22 in the 100 breast final in finishing second to Olympic rookie Evgeniya Chikunova (1:06.06), who broke the Russian junior record in the process.

Efimova has drawn controversy for her past with doping, failing a test for banned substance meldonium in the lead-up to the Rio Games but was ultimately cleared to compete where she won double silver in both breaststrokes. Efimova has made the 100 breast final at the last three Olympics and will be off to her fourth Olympics at age 29.

Chikunova had a stellar junior career, winning both the 100 and 200 breast at the 2019 World Juniors, and will now make her senior international debut in Tokyo this summer. Chikunova has a better history in the 200 breaststroke where the gold medal looks to be up for grabs this summer between any number of swimmers across the globe.

It did not come easy for Efimova and Chikunova however, as Tatiana Belonogoff was third at 1:06.76 ahead of Maria Temnikova (1:06.84) and Nika Godun (1:06.98).

Semi Final Action

Anne Egorova leads the 200 free qualifiers for tomorrow’s 200 free with a 1:58.21 ahead of Veronika Andrusenko (1:58.76) and Anastasia Guzhenkova (1:58.88), while Aleskandr Pribytok is leading the 200 fly field at 1:56.57 ahead of Aleksandr Kudashev (1:56.61).

Anastasia Sorokina is leading the 200 IM semis at 2:12.90 ahead of tomorrow’s final.

Unofficial Olympic Roster:


  • Evgeniia Chikunova, 100 breast
  • Svetlana Chimrova, 100 fly
  • Yulia Efimova, 100 breast
  • Anna Egorova, 400 free
  • Anastasia Fesikova, 100 back
  • Anastasia Kripichnikova, 400 free
  • Mariia Kameneva, 100 back
  • Arina Surkova, 100 fly


  • Ilia Borodin, 400 IM
  • Anton Chupkov, 100 breast
  • Aleksandr Egorov, 400 free
  • Ivan Girev, 200 free
  • Kliment Kolesnikov, 100 back
  • Aleksandr Krasnykh, 4×200 free
  • Martin Malyutin, 400, 200 free
  • Kirill Prigoda, 100 breast
  • Evgeny Rylov, 100 back
  • Aleksandr Shchegolev, 4×200 free
  • Maxim Stupin, 400 IM

Advertising: Shop At Swim360

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

no one broke a national record…. rylov went 51.97 in 2019

John Lohn - Editor-in-Chief
Reply to  anonymous

Please read the full text. The 51.97 is discussed, but it is not the official national record and not recognized by LEN as the European record since it was posted on the leadoff leg of a mixed relay.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x