18yo Russian swimmer Kliment Kolesnikov breaks 50m backstroke world record

18yo Russian swimmer Kliment Kolesnikov breaks 50m backstroke world record
Russian swimmer Kliment Kolesnikov powered to victory in the 50m backstroke at the European Championships in Glasgow on Saturday, breaking the world record in the process.

Kolesnikov, who turned 18 just under a month ago, won in a time of 24.00 seconds, shaving 0.04 seconds off the previous world record set by Britain’s Liam Tancock in 2009.

The Russian swimmer was well clear of the chasing pack, with Romania’s Robert-Andrei Glinta coming second in a time of 24.55 seconds and Ireland’s Shane Ryan winning bronze with 24.64.

Kolesnikov’s victory was his second gold of the championships, having claimed victory as part of Russia’s 4 x 100m men’s freestyle relay team on Friday.

Russia is enjoying success in the pool in Glasgow, topping the medal table in swimming with six medals in total – two of each color.

Kolesnikov is part of a talented new generation of Russian swimmers, and previously broke world records at junior level for the 50m and 100m backstroke.

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However, even after his success at senior level he says he is firmly focused on the bigger prize of Olympic glory in Tokyo in two years’ time.

“The big goal is the Olympics (in Tokyo in 2020). It is nothing special what I have done today, the special one is the Olympics,” he said, Reuters reported.