International Ice Swimming Association’s 2019 Murmansk World Championship Event Recap

Photo Courtesy: IISA

By Taylor Byers, Swimming World College Intern.

The third annual World Championships for the International Ice Swimming Association took place Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, March 17. This year, the event took place in Murmansk, Russia, in a 10-lane, 25-short course meter lake with air and water temperatures hovering at negative three degrees Celsius and zero degrees Celsius respectively.

Moscow native Natalia Seraya says: “It is important for me, and in general, that we swim not to set records but to be healthy and to show people that cold water hardening is best for improving health from the inside.”


Photo Courtesy: Marta Zhegalina

A total of 400 athletes competed within 17 age categories, representing 33 different countries. The first day of the event included acclimation swims to get accustomed to the frigid temperatures. The next three days included a multitude of events, the main event being the 1,000-meter swim. For the World Championship, there will be about 400 swimmers representing a total of 32 countries.

The Governor of Murmansk, Marina Kovtun, commented: “It is such an honor to take guests who today will show that human capabilities are endless. I am confident that the World Ice Swimming Championships will be the main winter holiday of the Murmansk region for a long time.”

The meet was highlighted by a new World Record in the men’s 1,000 free by Petar Stoychev from Bulgaria with the time of 12:10.81, breaking his previous record by five seconds (12:15.87).


Photo Courtesy: IISA

Women’s 50 Free

Poland’s Hannah Bakuniak took the gold with a time of 30.83. Following close behind in second place was Alisa Fatum (30.94) of Germany, with Ireland’s Ciara Doran (31.30) touching third.

Men’s 50 Free

Coming in first was Quinn Fitzgerald of the United States with a time of 26.94. Poland’s Michał Perl (27.03) touched in second, and Tobias Jackle (27.40) from Germany took third.

Women’s 200 Free

Finishing six seconds ahead of the field was Doran with a time of 2:20.65, with Aleksandra Bednerek (2:26.60) of Poland following. Bakuniak (2:26.71) finished third.

Men’s 200 Free

The Russian Federation’s Vladislav Sapozhnikov won with a time of 2:11.11. Coming in second was Jakle (2:16.62) with Estonia’s Henri Kaarma finishing third with a time of 2:18.82.

Women’s 500 Free

Fatum finished first with a time of 6:27.58. Touching the wall for second was Barbara Hernandez from Chile with a 7:34.33, and third place was Nikola Kopecká from the Czech Republic with a time of 8:08.53

Men’s 500 Free

Finishing ahead of the pack was Paul Eugen Dorin Georgescu of Romania to post a time of 6:07.22. Colin Hill of Great Britain touched at second by .01 over Stefan Runge (6:47.84) from Germany with a time of 6:47.83.

Women’s 50 Breast

France’s Joffle Marion won the event with a time of 38.01. Finishing second was Bednerek (39.43), and touching at 40.04 was South Africa’s Samantha Whelpton.

Men’s 50 Breast

Out-touching Sapozhnikov (32.82) was Perl, winning the event with a time of 32.69. Coming in third was Poland’s Remigiusz Golebiowski (36.76).

Women’s 100 Breast

Bednerek took first place with a time of 1:24.05. Second place went to Marion (1:24.59) and third was Oksana Beletskay (1:29.59) from the Russian Federation.

Men’s 100 Breast

Perl took the lead with a first-place time of 1:14.40. The Russian Federation’s Denis Akulov (1:20.99) and Sergey Makarenko (1:22.42) took second and third respectively.

Women’s 50 Fly

First through third place were separated by less than a second, with Elina Mäkinen of Finland taking first with a time of 32.53. Second place went to Fatum (32.78) and third to Marion (33.10).

Men’s 50 Fly

Three men broke 30 seconds in the 50 fly. Taking first was Kaarma (28.92). Perl took second with a time of 29.07 and Jakle (29.99) finished third.

Women’s 1,000 Free

Fatum won the main event of the meet for the women’s side with a time of (13:02.39). Coming in second was Doran (13:06.29) and in third was Bakuniak (13:30.12).

Men’s 1,000 Free

Topping off the 1,000 free was Stoychev with a World Record time of 12:10.81. Coming in second place was Fergil Hesterman of the Netherlands with a time of 12:42.89, and in third was Sapozhnikov (12:48.84).

Full video coverage can be found here: 2019 Ice Swimming World Championships Results

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
Eric Valley
5 years ago

Scott Lautman

Tyler Jones
5 years ago

Shaye Booth

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x