It didn’t take long for Anastasia Kirpichnikova to make an impact on the French Record books in her debut swimming under the nation’s flag in short course meters, shattering a near two-decade-old mark in the women’s 1500 freestyle.
Competing in the first final of the 2023 French Short Course Championships on Thursday, Kirpichnikova dominated the event en route to gold in a time of 15:33.42, breaking the National Record of 15:42.39 set by Laure Manaudou back in 2004.
Despite knocking nearly nine seconds off Manaudou’s French Record in the 1500 free, Kirpichnikova’s swim is still a far cry from her personal best time, which stands at 15:18.30 from the 2021 European Short Course Championships where she came within three-tenths of the world record.
That swim still ranks her #3 all-time in the event, with Katie Ledecky having obliterated the previous world record held by Sarah Kohler(15:18.01) in a time of 15:08.24 at the World Cup stop in Toronto last October.
The 23-year-old Kirpichnikova won Thursday’s race by 31 seconds, with veteran Lara Grangeona distant runner-up in 16:04.42.
In her lone appearance representing France on the international stage, Kirpichnikova set a new French Record in the long course 1500 free at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, clocking 15:48.53 to place 4th overall.