Performance of the Week: Evgeny Rylov’s 200 Backstroke

(140820) -- Nanjing, Aug 20,2014 (Xinhua) -- Evgeny Rylov of Russian Federation celebrates after the final of Men's 50m Backstroke of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China?s Jiangsu Province, on August 20, 2014. Evgeny Rylov won the gold. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei) (lyq)
Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Yue Yuewei

Despite the controversy currently surrounding Russian athletics (including the suspension of Yuliya Efimova), there were many bright spots at the country’s Olympic Qualifying meet this past week. The most impressive performance came from 19 year-old Evgeny Rylov, who broke the European and Russian records in the 200 backstroke en route to punching his ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Hitting the wall at 1:54.21, Rylov broke Radoslaw Kawecki’s European Record from the 2013 World Championships and reset his own Russian mark of 1:54.60 from earlier this year. Rylov was the bronze medalist at this past summer’s 2015 World Championships in Kazan, and currently sits only 3-tenths behind Australian star Mitch Larkin (1:53.90) in the world rankings. At his age and with his current rate of improvement, it isn’t too far-fetched to think Rylov could be challenging for the gold medal in just a few months in Rio. The young backstroker also won the 100 back earlier in the meet in 53.04, just 1-tenth of a second off of the Russian Record.

Congratulations Evgeny Rylov on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!