Vyacheslav Sinkevich cracked the Russian 200m breaststroke record in 2:08.62 in the semis at in Kazan. The time took him inside the 2:09.36 standard established by Grigory Falko in shiny suit at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. Steadily they fall.
Sinkevich, who cracked 2:10 for the first time last year, with a 2:09.90 in the Olympic semis in London, went through in 29.27, 1:02.08 (32.81), 1:35.24 (33.16) and finished with a 33.38 homecomer. That placed him at the helm of the world rankings for 2013 as the first man inside 2:10. The four men next through to the final were all on 2:13s.
In the junior ranks, Alexander Osipenko, 17 stepped up from a best of 2:15.56 at European junior championships last year to a 2:13.99 at the helm of the youth semis at the sixth man inside 2:14 in Kazan today.
In textile suit, Sinkevich is the 12th man ever to break 2:09, after Yamaguchi, Gyurta, Jamieson, Kitajima, Tateishi, Tomita, Willis, Hansen, Koch vom Lehn and Weltz. Counting shiny suits banned from january 1, 2010, Sinkevich is No 25 inside 2:09.
Sinkevich's mark was the first of two senior shiny standards to fall in Kazan today. The 50m backstroke semis tested the Russian record in the first line-up, Vitaly Melnikov on 25.22, 0.11sec shy of the 25.11 at which Arkady Vyatchanin, winner of the 100m crown yesterday, has held the mark since 2009.
The shiny suit standard was confined to history in the second line up when Vladimir Morozov, on 25.28 to equal the third best 50m backstroke ever in heats this morning, booked lane 4 for the final of the dash in 24.80, a Russian record and 6th in the world this year. Morozov's solo 50m back best dated back to 2011, when he clocked 25.62 at the Russian Cup in July that year.
Could this be the week, the season that Morozov cracks Alex Popov's Russian 50m free mark of 21.64, the world record until shiny suits were born? The US-based sprinter has a best of 22.06 from a year ago.
The men's 200m freestyle produced a tight final, the crown going to national record holder Danila Izotov in 1:46.37 ahead of a 1:46.59 for Nikita Lobintsev and 1:46.66 for Alex Sukhorov, the last man inside 1:47 Artem lobuzov in 1:46.96 for the last secure relay berth at world titles in Barcelona this summer. The final came to a close in 1:48.77. Michael Dovgaluk, 17, took the junior crown in 1:49.39.
Evgeny Kulikov, of Moscow, took the 1500m freestyle in 15:14.96 ahead of teammate Evgeny Eliseev, 15:17.97, the bronze going to Alexey Solpekovskiy, in 15:23.23. The final closed at 15:45.73.
Yulia Efimova kept 16-year-old Anna Belousova at bay 1:07.44 to 1:08.04 to claim the 100m breaststroke crown and enter the top 10 in the world this season. Anastasia Chaun took the bronze in 1:09.20, with three others inside 1:10.
Ekaterina Andreeva pipped her St Petersburg teammate Veronika Popova 54.79 to 54.85 for the 100m freestyle crown, Margarita Nesterova third in 55.18, Marya Baklakova locked out of the medals in 55.37 but in line for relay action in Barcelona this summer if selectors give the prospective quartet the thumbs up. The junior final went to 15-year-old Rosalia Nasretdinova in 55.65, the 14-year-old 2:08 200m back sensation of yesterday's finals session, Daria Ustinova in 4th on 56.89.
In the last final of the day, Semen Makovich, 17, bypassed the junior final to take the 200m medley crown in a Russian junior mark of 2:00.97 ahead of Dmitry Zhilin, the fastest ever in textile suit in Russia on 1:59.84 (just 0.03sec shy of Alex Tikhonov's 2009 national record) but on 2:01.21 for silver today. The bronze went to Dmitry Gorbunov in 2:02.31.
Yana Martynova, 400IM champion yesterday, clocked 2:15.56 in the first 200m medley semi, Ekaterina Andreeva on 2:15.11 at the helm of the second line-up.
In the 200m butterfly semis, Evgeny Koptelov, Volgograd, clocked 1:58.22 at the helm of the first line-up before the second eight in the hunt fir places in the final saw three more break the 2min mark, Nikolay Skvortsov on 1:59.17, and Maxim Ganikhin, 1:59.43, and the leader's Volgograd teammate Evgeny Isakov, leaving behind his teenage years in 2013 and on a lifetime best of 1:59.70, after 2:01.67 from nationals a year ago. In the junior semis, 17-year-old Alex Kudashev led the way in 2:00.38, progress from a best of 2:01.71 last season.
In the closing semi for women, Olympic medallist Anastasia Zueva, on her way back from injury, led the way in the 100m backstroke on 1:01.17.