By Sharon Robb
April 20, 2015—After a few encouraging words from her coach Chris Anderson, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Valentina Artemeva qualified for the July 24-Aug. 9 World Aquatic Championships in Kazan, Russia on the opening day of the Russian National Swimming Championships in Moscow.
Artemeva, 28, of Novosibirsk Region, took the bronze medal in the 50-meter breaststroke, the first of her three events, after finishing third in 31.31.
The sprint race was a tune-up for her remaining two events, the 200-meter breaststroke and 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event.
Yuliya Efimova of the Tyimen Region, coming off her drug doping suspension, won the gold in 30.39. Efimova started the meet with the world best in 30.70 in prelims. She bettered her time in semifinals in 30.41 and finished with her third world best of the day in 30.39. It was her first national title since the suspension.
Victoria Zeinel Gunes of Turkey took the silver in 31.24. With that time, Efimova is now ranked No. 1 in the world in both the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke.
Artemeva, who has been training with SOFLO’s pro team including three-time Jamaican Olympian and breaststroke world record holder Alia Atkinson and Bermuda national champion Lisa Blackburn, is the current European champion in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke (short course).
She is also world record holder in fin swimming and former world champion in the 200-meter surface finswimming and bronze medalist in the 100-meter surface finswimming.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org