After establishing a world season-leading Russian record of 2:08.62 in the semi-final yesterday, Vyacheslav Sinkevich, Volgograd, took the 200m breaststroke crown at nationals in Kazan in 2:09.00.
On a day when Nikita Lobintsev set the 100m free pace at 48.18 at the helm of the second semi ahead of Danila Izotov, on 48.23 as the Russian 4x100m builds into a threat, Sinkevich enjoyed clearer waters.
Behind him came Marat Amaltdinov, 18 and racing for Moscow, on 2:11.57 and good for the second ticket to the FINA World Championships in Barcelona this July and August. The battle for bronze went to Oleg Kostin in 2:12.61 ahead of Anton Lobanov, on 2:12.98, three others on 2:13s.
Nikolay Skvortsov, the only Russian ever to swim inside the pace of former world record holder Denis Pankratov in 1995, claimed the 200m butterfly title in 1:55.70 (55.69) ahead of Evgeny Koptelov, 20 this year and on 1:58.04 after a best of 2:01.73 last year. The bronze went to Maxim Ganikhin, down on best in a 1:59.50 just 0.22sec ahead of Andrey Tambovskiy, also outside best, on 1:59.72 as the last man inside 2mins. The junior final went to Alexander Kudashov in 2:00.07.
Controversy ruled the waves in the women's 200m breaststroke when former European champion Anastasia Chaun was disqualified, leaving Olympic medallist Yulia Efimova out front for the final tomorrow in 2:29.67. Anna Belousova was next through in 2:30.20. The leader among juniors was Irina Novikova, 17, on 2:28.16.
Olympic and world-titles medallist Anastasia Zueva kept the 100m backstroke crown in 1:00.24 as she improves on the road to a full recovery after suffering injury setbacks since London 2012. Mariya Gromova took silver in 1:00.84, the bronze going to the 14-year-old winner of the 200m title in 2:08, Daria Ustinova, Sverdlovsk, on 1:01.38, 0.05sec ahead of 17-year-old teammate Polina Lapshina, on 1:01.43.
In the first semi-final of the men's 100m freestyle, Volgograd's US-based Vladimir Morozov clocked 48.49 (23.29) ahead of Andrey Grechin, St. Petersburg, on 49.02. Morozov's effort was a personal best but before he had chance to catch breath, Nikita Lobintsev, Moscow, stopped the clock on 48.18 at the helm of the second semi ahead of Danila Izotov, on 48.23, Sergei Fesikov, on 48.63, and Alexander Sukhorukov on 48.80, the stage set for a sizzling showdown tomorrow. The last man in: 49.30.
Morozov was back later to win the 50m backstroke in Vladimir Morozov in 24.83, 0.03sec shy of the Russian mark he established in the semis yesterday. The silver went to Vitaly Melnikov, 25.10, the bronze to 100m winner ahead of Morozov, Arkady Vyatchani, on 25.18.
The fourth day of finals started with a 16:38.56 victory for Elizabeta Gorshkova, Moscow, over 1500m freestyle. Back in the pack on 17:00.37 was the national record holder Anastasia Ivanenko, St. Petersburg, back from a doping ban. Back in 2007 and at 18, Ivanenko was sanctioned for using furosemide, a banned diuretic that can be used to mask steroids. She was barred for two years.
In the women's 200m medley, Victoriya Andreeva of St. Petersburg, wiped 2.68sec off her pre-championship best for a 2:12.21 victory over national record (2:11.73, 2009) holder Daria Belyakina, second in 2:14.62, the bronze going to Victoria Malyutina, inside her previous best of 2:16.11 on 2:14.83. That locked out 400IM winner Yana Martynova, on 2:15.20.
In other action, Veronika Popova, St. Petersburg, led the way in the 100m butterfly semis on 58.65 ahead of Irina Bespalov, on 58.99. Popova was back in later to help her team in the closing 4x200m free final, victory secured in 8:06.98 ahead of an 8:10.96 combination from Moscow, no other quartets below 8:20.