Swimming

Andrei Minakov headlines opening day of 2020 Russian Swimming Championships

Pool prodigy Minakov was on form in Kazan as the Russian swim nationals got underway

By Ken Browne ·

Andrei Minakov won his first title in his first race on Day 1 at the 2020 Russian Swimming Championships in Kazan on Sunday 25 October.

More than 700 Russian swimmers are vying for qualification spots at the Tokyo Olympic Games next summer.

Minakov, who won six gold medals at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, anchored the St. Petersburg team to victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay, clocking 48.30 seconds - the fastest time on his team - with an overall 3:16.62 time.

It wasn't the fastest time in the race though, the Moscow team made it a thrilling race going stroke for stroke to record a 3:16.94 time, 0.32s from the winners.

Vladislav Grinev swam a 48.18 100m and nearly caught Minakov, the Gwangjiu Worlds 4x100m free silver medallist was fastest in the class.

It was an exciting opener on Day 1 with four finals and plenty of fireworks, the competition will run from Sunday, October 25th – Friday, October 30th in Kazan.

Some big names will take to the water over the next few days including 200m breastroke Rio bronze medallist and double World champ Anton Chupkov, 18-year-old rising star Daria Vaskina who won three gold medals at the Youth Olympics, another prodigious talent Evgenia Chikunova, Oleg Kostin, Tatiana Belonogoff and many more.

2020 Russian Swimming Championships Results - Day 1

We saw the finals in two singles races on Sunday, the men's 400m freestyle and the women's 400m medley.

19-year-old Alexander Egorov won the men's 400 free proving yet again that he's one to watch. He won bronze at the 2019 World Junior Championships in this distance, and has also been killing it over 1500m recently.

Egorov's 3:47.50 put him atop the podium, and the race for second went right to the final stroke, Daniel Shatalov edging it in 3:48.28 to Anton Nikitin's 3:48.31, just three tenths of a second in it.

Anna Chernysheva took the women's 400m medley stopping the clock at 4:47.67, over a second faster than Irina Krivonogova who won two relay silver medals at the Glasgow Euros, and Anastasia Sorokina completed the podium.

Expect to see plenty of future Russian stars in Kazan, Anastasia Sorokina is definitely one of them, at 15 she broke a 34-year-old Junior World Record at the Len European Junior Championships in Finland, going 2:14.38 in the women's 200m IM.