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Russian swimmer Yevgeniya Chikunova crushes world record in 200m breaststroke

Evgeniia Chikunova

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Evgeniia Chikunova of Team Russian Olympic Committee competes in the Women’s 100 meter breaststroke semifinal on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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Yevgeniya Chikunova smashed the women’s 200m breaststroke world record by 1.40 seconds at the Russian Swimming Championships on Friday.

Chikunova, who placed fourth in the 100m and 200m breast at the Tokyo Olympics at age 16, clocked 2 minutes, 17.55 seconds.

South African Tatjana Schoenmaker held the previous world record of 2:18.95, set when she won the Tokyo Olympic final.

Russian swimmers have since March 2022 been suspended indefinitely from international competition due to the war in Ukraine, a ban that is expected to last at least through July’s world championships.

A World Aquatics spokesperson said Friday that they are still eligible to set records during the international ban.

“The swim from Evgeniya Chikunova will follow the World Aquatics world record process of approval that any other world record follows,” the spokesperson said in an email. “Only when the necessary steps are taken and verified can a world record then be ratified.”

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