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Ustinova, 14, Upsets With 2:08 Win 200BK

Apr 17, 2013  - Craig Lord

Daria Ustinova, 14, produced an upset victory of 2:08.39 in the 200m backstroke on the second day of Russian nationals. The teenage bolter from Sverdlovsk arrived in Kazan with a personal best of 2:14.65 from a year ago.

With that rate of progress, she stole the thunder of 16-year-old Svetlana Chimrova, butterfly dash champion in a Russian record of 26.33sec, and Kirill Strelnikov, on a best of 1:00.60 in the 100 breaststroke semis yesterday and the crown his in 1:00.18 today. Those three gold-winning performances topped a list of world-championship qualification efforts.

Ustinova, 15 this year, took the 200m backstroke in a Barcelona-berth-worthy 2:08.39 ahead of Mariya Gromova, on 2:11.29, the bronze going to Yulia Larina, on 2:12.78. "I expected this result," said the 14-year-old. "I've long wanted to break the Russian record [Olympic medallist Anastasia Zueva: 2:04.94 shiny; 2:05.92 textile] but the most important thing  is that I've been selected for the World Championships ... and I still want to qualify in the 50 and 100m."

Chimrova's Russian best left her  0.08sec ahead of the previous national standard bearer (on 26.39) Daria Tsvetkova, on 26.41, the bronze going to Irina Bespalova in 26.76. All three swam inside FINA A cut.

Strelnikov, 21 this year, arrived at the Russian Cup with a lifetime best of 1:01.12. he has raced for Russia at continental level but never in world senior waters before, the showdown in Spain his debut in the hottest of pools. In his wake today, the second ticket to the Catalan capital went to Vyatcheslav Sinkevitch in 1:00.71, Anton Lobanov locked out on 1:01.24.

"Victory was unexpected," said Strelnikov. "I thought I'd go worse than that … but it turns out I got selected for worlds and the Universiade - I couldn't believe it at first. I want to fight for a medal at Universiade. I wiped 0.8sec off my best time today but you have to get inside the minute [to be in the mix at world champs]."

In other action, Florida-based Arkady Vyatchanin put himself back on top among Russian backstrokers, a 53.47 (26.12, 27.35) ahead of another US-based compatriot, world s/c freestyle sprint champion Vladimir Morozov, on 53.70 (29.19, 27.51), the bronze going to Vitaly Borisov in 54.33.

Morozov is quoted by his federation as having said that he sought a best time and got it, though the record shows that his best is 53.93 from nationals last year. he is also cited as saying that while the 100m backstroke was fine for Universiade selection and relays, it was be big moment in world-championship waters. 

Evgeny Koptelov took the 50m butterfly in 23.43 ahead of Nikita Konovalov, 23.49, both inside FINA A cut for Barcelona, the bronze going to Evgeny Korotyshkin, Olympic 100m medallist last year, in 23.69. Evgeny Selov, 17 this year and on a Russian junior record of 23.64 In semis, was fourth in 23.87 in the final.

In semis, Veronika Popova led the way in the 100m free on 54.69 as the sole sub-55 swimmer; Anna Belousova, 16, led the way through to the 100m breaststroke final in 1:07.98, 0.02sec ahead of Yulia Efoimova, four others inside 1:10; Semen Makovich, 17, clocked 2:01.10 to claim lane 4 for the 200m medley final; and Danila Izotov led the way into the 200m freestyle final on 1:47.19, 1:49.03 the cut for the best eight.