The eventful third day at the Russian Swimming Championships in Kazan has ended. Russian athletes have set their own goals for qualifying for the Olympic Games and passions in the pool are heating up, because there are not so many qualifying tickets left. At the same time, the final results for the entire team of the FINA Development Center are rated above all praise. And we can say with confidence that the main goal of gaining competitive experience at the first big starts of this year is being carried out systematically and confidently. Today we were especially pleased with Arina Baikova and Luis Vega Torres, who qualified for the finals of the Russian Olympic Trials.
Today, 9 of the 14 FINA athletes participated in the morning session.
The FINA Development Center scholarship holders will remember this eventful day with several national and personal records, as well as two good results that allowed them to reach the final stages of the Russian Swimming Championships.
It is a remarkable fact that there was not a single evening without the FINA team. And we hope to stick to this tradition.
1) Today's main success for the team of the FINA Development Center was the participation of Luis Vega Torres (Cuba) in the 200-meter butterfly, the result of which allowed him to reach the final of the Russian Championship, as well as meet the Olympic Standard and qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo.
In the morning part, Luis swam in 2:00.36 and easily qualified for the evening part of the competition.
In the semifinals, he was opposed by the strongest athletes of Russia, but Cuban athlete competently opposed them, showing a brilliant finish and taking fifth place. His time is 1:58.58 and this is a new personal and national record for the 200-meter butterfly.
This is the time of the Olympic standard B, which means that this summer we will be in Tokyo pool.
We are waiting for his final swim at the evening session on April 6. Medals of the Russian Championship are a very real task for the Luis.
2) Arina Baykova (Latvia) claimed two freestyle distances: 200 and 1500 meters. Both of them she swam very well, managing to use her strength for the longest distance at this championship.
The first distance of the 200 m freestyle in 2:04.49, but unfortunately, there were not enough seconds to qualify for the semifinals.
Arina swam her new main distance of 1500 meters perfectly – 17:27.28, setting a new national record of Latvia, improving it by 8 seconds. As a result, the Latvian athlete became the 5th and reached the final of the Russian Championship. A wonderful result, which she did not expect, Arina admits.
3) The next discipline, where three FINA Development Center fellows participated, was the 50-meter breaststroke. Fahim Anwari (Afghanistan) once again surprises us with his progress, setting his new best time, as well as a new national record – 0:31.89, improving his previous result by one and a half seconds. Undoubtedly, a good attitude to the training process and a desire to achieve success helped Fahim in the previous short distances.
Today, the Afghan swimmer demonstrated a good breaststroke technique, there are several shortcomings at the start, but these technical points are easily corrected. Fahim has good results ahead of him.
4) The next hero of the 50-meter breaststroke was Eloi Maniraguha (Rwanda), who set his new best time - 0:29.54, which indicates his progress in the breaststroke.
5) In addition, Jonathan Chung Yee (Mauritius), despite the fact that he arrived at the FINA Development Center a few days ago, and with no competitive experience for the last 1.5 years, swam 50 meters breaststroke in 0:31.99. The result is not the best, but there is a lot of work ahead for Jonathan with the coaching staff.
6) Salvador Gordo (Angola) in the 200-meter butterfly showed a phenomenal time for himself, setting a new junior record for Angola, swimming in 2:09.90. This is his personal best, which he will develop at the next starts. Many noted his good sense of water in the butterfly, which was fully demonstrated in the aquatics palace pool.
7) Another strong result today was shown by Lorena Gonzalez (Cuba) in the 200-meter freestyle, swimming in 2:08.56, improving her last result by as much as 4 seconds. She showed a very good hundred meters at the finish, and Lorena's technical training is at a serious level.
8) Habibat Ogunbanwo (Nigeria) also competed in the 200-meter freestyle. Her result is close to the best personal, a couple of hundredths of a second was not enough. A very cheerful start was shown by the Nigerian swimmer, who had good physical data, showed good rowing technique, but at the finish there was not enough. Habibat has several more heats ahead of her, and she will definitely show herself at them.
9) Another positive news for the FINA Center team is the new personal best of Bisma Khan (Pakistan) in the 50-meter butterfly, which she swam in 0:29.80. The coaching staff appreciated her preparation for her main distance, which she successfully completed. All the results of today at the link
The coach of the FINA Development Centre swimming team, Darina Sergeeva, commented on the results of the day:
"The third day of the competition brought us very interesting results. I can't say that someone swims badly, no. Everyone's results are either better or undergoing major improvements. But I would especially like to highlight some athletes.
For example, Fahim Anwari, who for the second day in a row drops from the 50-meter mark by 1.5 seconds. This is a very decent result and we are very proud of it.
Also, I would like to highlight Salvador Gordo, who broke the country's youth record in the 200-meter butterfly. I am incredibly happy, because just recently we did not think that he would be able to swim such a difficult distance.
We are very happy to see Luis again in the final of the Russian Championship, and most importantly, we are very happy about his new national record in Cuba. He will go to the Olympics in Tokyo, which means that the coaching staff has fulfilled its main task. Undoubtedly, he is one of the leaders of our team, whom everyone is ready to support and look up to. At these competitions, he shows his best times and this inspires, including other fellows. We are very happy for Luis, we are waiting for the medals of the Russian Championship.
And finally: Arina Baikova. To break the national record in the 1500 freestyle is wonderful. Even more interesting is that she swam this distance for the first time, we really hope for an improvement in the time in the final tomorrow.»
On April 6, at the morning session, only 5 athletes of the FINA Development Center will compete in the following distances: 100 and 800 meters freestyle, 200 meters breaststroke and all for men.
And most importantly - this is the evening part of the competition, where Arina and Luis will compete for medals.
A short break is necessary for our team, ahead of us is the second half of the championship, where there are all chances to break their records, as well as to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.