The 2021 Russian Short Course Championships kicked off today in St. Petersburg but right off the bat a big name was missing.
We previewed how 25-year-old Kirill Prigoda was originally entered in the men’s breaststroke events. However, the man wound up not diving in today and is apparently no longer expected to compete over the course of this 6-day meet.
The significance is that Prigoda also did not compete at this year’s European Short Course Championships the other meet serving as a qualifying competition by Russian Swimming Federation standards. As such, it is likely we will not be seeing Prigoda defend his 200m breast short course world title from 2018.
These championships do have a semifinal round, which means we only saw a handful of medal-contending finals through day 1.
One such race was the men’s 400m free, which saw Daniil Shatalov capture the victory in a time of 3:40.36, edging the field by over a second. However, the time Shatalov needed in order to head to Abu Dhabi was 3:39.30, meaning the man came about 1 second short of his goal.
The women’s 200m free final was also void of any swimmer exceeding the qualification time of 1:53.66. The top finisher was Ekaterina Nikonova, with the 18-year-old producing a winning mark of 1:54.13. Splitting 55.20/58.93, Nikonova hit a new lifetime best, overtaking her previous PB of 1:54.58 which gave her the silver medal at the Kazan stop for the 2021 FINA World Cup Series.
The men’s 200m IM saw Daniil Pasynkov get it done for gold, hitting the wall in a time of 1:54.19. For Pasynkov, his time was not only was off his own lifetime best of 1:53.26 from 2 years ago but it was also painstakingly outside the qualification time of 1:54.11 needed for Abu Dhabi.
His time here was nearly identical to what he logged at this year’s European Short Course Championships in Kazan, where the 27-year-old Pasynkov placed 5th in this men’s 2IM event with a time of 1:54.20.
Finally, the men’s 200m fly saw Aleksandr Kharlanov top the podium in a swift 1:50.94. He opened in 52.94 and closed in 58.00 to nearly his own lifetime best tonight. That stands at the 1:50.54 he put up for gold at the 2017 European Short Course Championships.
Kharlanov indeed qualified for Abu Dhabi with tonight’s swim, as his 1:50.94 comfortably dipped under the Russian QT of 1:51.82 needed to qualify.
Originally posted on SwimSwam.com. Click here to Read More.