After 17-year-old Russian swimmer Andrei Minakov finished his FINA Champions Swim Series with three gold and two silver medals, he now expects also to shine at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"I was definitely very excited to race here in China. I have been travelling for two weeks. I swam faster throughout the two legs. I am also happy that I visited the Forbidden City, one day before the Beijing leg started on January 18”.

“I think the Chinese culture is unique in its traditions. I like it very much and I'm very lucky to be here and visit such places. It is just outstanding and amazing. I always wanted to visit China and especially Beijing. And I got this opportunity to visit it in winter time. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to visit the Summer Palace this time, but hopefully I will do in the future. It is not my first time in China. I've been to China last year in April when I competed in the Champions Series in Guangzhou”.

Minakov competed in the Champions Series in Guangzhou last April and later he took a silver medal in the 100m fly behind Caleb Dressel (USA) and a bronze medal in medley relay together with Evgeny Rylov, Kirill Prigoda and Vladimir Morozov at the Gwangju Worlds last year.

Photo by gettyimages

He swept six gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018. At the World Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August 2019, he collected two gold in 100m free and 100m butterfly, plus four silver medals. 

In Shenzhen, Minakov won the 100m free in 48.94, upsetting teammate and two-time World Cup overall winner Vladimir Morozov (49.02). In Beijing, it was Morozov who topped the field with a time of 48.32, ahead of Minakov (48.78).

"I won in Shenzhen, but I am faster in Beijing. It is always unpredictable to swim with him.  I will need to qualify in the top two at the national selection in April in Kazan and make the team. I can't wait to race him again. I will focus on 100m fly and 100m free as well as the relay".

As an Bio Engineering freshman in Stanford, Minakov says he selected the Bio Engineering as his major. "Our academics start after the Olympics in September. I'll have a short vacation after the Olympics, and then I'll move to the United States".