Despite FINA Ban, Kliment Kolesnikov Lowers 50 Backstroke Short Course World Record In Russia

Kliment Kolesnikov abu dhabi
Kliment Kolesnikov -- Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Kliment Kolesnikov Lowers 50 Backstroke Short Course World Record

Russian swimmers are currently banned from international competition, but at the country’s short course national-championship meet, one of the most decorated active Russian swimmers took down a world record. Kliment Kolesnikov, a 22-year-old who secured Olympic silver in the 100 backstroke last year and bronze in the 100 freestyle, lowered the 50 back short course meters global standard Wednesday.

Kolesnikov notched a time of 22.11 to surpass Florent Manaudou’s world record of 22.22 that was set in 2014, and he beat his own Russian national standard of 22.31 set the previous day in the semifinal.

Given Russia are suspended following the invasion of Ukraine, it raises questions over whether the record will be ratified by FINA.

FINA released a statement to Swimming World which read:

“The swim from Mr. Kolesnikov will follow the FINA world record process of approval that any other world record follows.

“Only when the necessary steps are taken and verified can a world record then be ratified.”

These steps include proof of a doping test having been undertaken within 24 hours of the race, where it took place and supervised by whom.

The FINA member federation has to approve the application for a world record to be ratified.

Notable too that Evgeny Rylov has been competing in Kazan, despite having been suspended for attending a rally in support of Vladimir Putin.

The double Tokyo Olympic champion was cleared to compete at the national long-course championships back in April given it wasn’t a FINA-sanctioned event.

Kolesnikov has held world records before, but he was no longer an active record holder. He was just 18 years old when he first set the world record in the long course 50 back (24.00), and he lowered the mark to 23.80 at the 2021 European Championships. Hunter Armstrong of the United States broke that record in April. Kolesnikov has also held the world record in the 100 back (SCM) on two occasions. He went 48.90 in December 2017 and then 48.58 in November 2022. Both of those records lasted less than a year.

In addition to his Olympic success, Kolesnikov has won three individual short course world titles, with gold medals in the 100 IM in 2018 and 2021 and another top honor in the 50 back last year. However, Kolesnikov is barred from next month’s Short Course Worlds scheduled to be held in Melbourne along with all other Russian athletes.

Full results from the Russian meet are available here.

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