Nikolay Snegirev of Moscow, who broke the national junior record twice in a single day today, showed quite a dramatic performance that kept spectators on the edge of their seats.
In the morning, Snegirev came first in the men’s 400m freestyle preliminary heat and achieved a national junior record with 3:45.98. Nikolay finished ahead of Alexander Krasnykh of Tatarstan who had clinched gold in the 200m freestyle the day before. Vyacheslav Andrusenko and Mikhail Polischukjoined Krasnykh on the podium yesterday with silver and gold medals respetively.
Later today Snegirev beat his own record in the final heat but ironically missed out on a place on the podium, finishing fourth with 3:44.51. It was Krasnykh now who celebrated victory. Vyacheslav Andrusenko secured silver while Evgeny Kulikov of Moscow rounded out the overall podium in third. He finished 0.19 seconds ahead of Snegirev.
– What are your major achievements so far?
– Winner of the European Games in Baku, medallist in a relay event at the national championships, Russian Cup winner.
– How come you showed a better result than Alexander Krasnykh this morning?
– It’s simply because I swam in a heat that was earlier. I wanted to make it to the final so much. There were no lead swimmers in the race that’s why I had to swim on my own and follow my intuition.
– So what are your thoughts about the final?
– They are positive. Of course, I wish I could have finished in the top three and have met the time standard but, alas. We will try harder next time – best is yet to come. The main event for me is the qualification for the Olympic Games.
– What are the distances you compete in?
– At the moment I have switched to the 200m and 400m freestyle races. Before that I swam the 100m and 200m backstroke. I prefer long course, but when I’m in good shape I do well in short course races, too.
– Can you say a few words about your opponents?
– Sasha Krasnykh is at the top of his game at this tournament – what he shows here is mind blowing. As for the rest, there was nothing extraordinary, everything was as usual.
– So what about the Europeans?
– I failed to achieve the qualifying standard, or finish in the top two, which means that I will not compete at the Europeans. But I will start my preparation for the qualifiers. I can only make predictions regarding the time I plan to show but I cannot say anything about my opponents: whether they beat my time or not is yet to be seen.
As for Alexander Krasnykh, he decided not to waste his strength in the morning and saved his energy for the final heat in which he improved his result by 9 seconds.
“As far as I know the qualifying times for the final were 3:49.00-3:49.03. It’s quite possible that he lacked experience, feel of speed or something else. I also swam on my own, without lead swimmers; and I even lost count of the number of laps and checked out the time to understand whether I was swimming the final 50 metres or not."
Press Office of Executive Directorate for Sports Projects