Brilliant and rapid swim of Yevgeny Tsurkin
Belarusian swimmer claims first prize at European Championship in 15 years
By Denis Komarovsky
Tsurkin’s European Swimming Championship bronze has great significance. In Debrecen, the team lacked its top swimmer, Alexandra Gerasimenya, yet this did not prevent the squad from performing well. Moreover, Yevgeny — who is known only to a narrow circle of specialists — is just 21.
Over the last few years, Belarusian women’s swimming has firmly established itself — led by Yelena Popchenko, Anna Shcherba, Svetlana Khokhlova and Alexandra Gerasimenya. The men’s team has always been less successful, although Pavel Sankovich claimed two bronze medals at the last European Championship (hosted by Polish Szczecin in a shorter pool — which some considered ‘warming-up’). It has been 15 years since our national swimming teams have won medals at European and World Championships where the pool is Olympic-sized: 50m in length.
The Belarusian reached the 50m butterfly final only at his second attempt. However, each swim (including the additional one), saw Yevgeny set a national record. His time in the finals — 23.37 seconds — would have qualified him for the top three places at last year’s World Championship. Geoff Huegill of Australia, a bronze medallist at the tournament in Shanghai, was ahead of Tsurkin by just two hundredths of a second in the virtual competition.