Thursday, 13 January 2011
Vladimir Morozov Will Represent Russia
A member of the presigious Speed Endurance 2011 Watchlist, Vladimir Morozov has announced to Swimming World that he will be swimming for Russia... atleast until 2012.
Morozov had previously made it known that he intended to swim for the US, however his quest to get US citizenship to be eligible for London 2012 ran out of time. If you watch the video above, he seems pretty disappointed by the development, which might be an issue going forward. (If you're the head of the Russian Swimming Federation you probably don't want to see your future star saying 'I guess i'll just have to swim for Russia'.)
Morovoz swimming for Russia will have a few knock-on effects:-
1) He will now be able to qualify for the Russian team for the World Championships in Shanghai this summer and potentially gain some valuable international experience prior to London 2012. Last year he was the 2nd fastest Russian over 50m Free LC and you have to expect that he will continue to improve long course.
2) The 4 x 100m Free relay in London 2012 just got a whole lot more interesting. Russia were in the conversation even before Morozov revealed which country he would represent, however now they have one of the world's most exciting sprint talents to add to an already talented group. I can see Morozov making the World Top 10 in the 100m Free by the time 2012 rolls around, in which case the Russian team could look like this: Morozov, Evgeny Lagunov, Andrey Grechin as well as Danila Izotov/Nikita Lobintsev/Sergey Fesikov. Pretty daunting for the rest of the world.
USA would remain favourites and it will always be hard to overcome a team that includes Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak as well as Ryan Lochte/Garrett Weber-Gale/David Walters/Cullen Jones/Matt Grevers... France will also have a formidable team with Alain Bernard, Fabien Gilot, Yannick Agnel and Fred Bousquet/Amaury Leveaux/William Meynard.
3) Rowdy Gaines is going to be pretty bummed out... This appeared on his Twitter feed in December
'Mark my words though, Vladimir Morozov is the next great sprinter...42.2 and he's only 18! Swims for Russia but can the U.S. get him?!'