ZUMO Performance of the Week: Anton Chupkov Shows Rare 100 Speed With 58.9 100 Breast in Kazan

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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This week’s ZUMO Performance of the Week goes to Anton Chupkov of Russia, who put on a show this past weekend at the FINA World Cup in his home country. Chupkov swam a 58.94 in the 100 breast and followed it up with a 2:07.7 in the 200 breast in Kazan. He has become the master of the 200 breast over the last three years since winning the bronze medal in Rio when he was 19. He has won the last two World titles in 2017 and 2019, the latter breaking the world record with a 2:06.12, almost becoming the first man to break 2:06 in the event.

But Chupkov’s 200 dominance is nothing new, and a 2:07.7 is just another good swim for him, like Cate Campbell swimming a 52 in the 100 free. A 2:07 is nothing to blink twice at since Chupkov has set the bar higher at what is deemed “quick” in the 200 breast. It took a 2:07-mid to win the gold medal in Rio and next summer, with the help of Matthew Wilson and Ippei Watanabe, it could take a 2:05 to stand at the top of the podium, something unheard of even last year.

Chupkov has always been good at the 200 breaststroke, but his recent success in the 100 (58.9), earns him this week’s ZUMO Performance of the Week. Chupkov lowered his own best time and moved to seventh in the world rankings for this year with his swim in Kazan. He won narrowly over Arno Kamminga (58.98) of the Netherlands, who also lowered his best time.

Chupkov was eighth at the World Championships in the 100 this year with a 59.19, a mile behind an out-of-this-world performance by Adam Peaty (57.14), who broke his own world record in semis with a 56.88. Peaty, like Chupkov, has dominated the 100 breast the latter half of this decade, becoming the first man to break 58 seconds in 2015, and becoming the first to break 57 this year, all before any other swimmer has broken 58.

But Chupkov’s recent improvement in the 100 breaststroke suggest he isn’t trying to chase Peaty, but rather he is working on his speed to ensure he is untouchable in the 200. Chupkov had already split a mind-boggling 1:02.2/1:03.9 en route to the world record this summer (compared to runner-up Wilson who was a 1:00.6/1:06.0 for a 2:06.6) and with improved work on his 100, he could absolutely clobber the 200 field next summer in Tokyo.

Congratulations to Anton Chupkov on winning the ZUMO Performance of the Week.

Top 10 World Rankings 2019 (Men’s 100 Breast)

  1. 56.88, Adam Peaty, GBR
  2. 58.29, Ilya Shymanovich, BLR
  3. 58.46, James Wilby, GBR
  4. 58.63, Yan Zibei, CHN
  5. 58.89, Yasuhiro Koseki, JPN
  6. 58.93, Andrew Wilson, USA
  7. 58.94, Anton Chupkov, RUS
  8. 58.98, Arno Kamminga, NED
  9. 59.03, Dmitriy Balandin, KAZ
  10. 59.05, Fabio Scozzoli, ITA

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