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Kristian GKOLOMEEV
Sport Swimming
NOC Greece   
GenderMen
Born04 Jul 1993 in Velingrad, BUL
Height2.02 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
San Diego, CA, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Greek
Higher education
Exercise Science - University of Alabama: Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age five. "I grew up in Heraklion, Crete [Greece]. I was training in Heraklion but it was really for a hobby. After my father passed away, I moved to Athens [Greece] with my uncle and my aunt, and I really launched my swimming career over there."
Why this sport?
He would go to the pool with his father, who was a competitive swimmer. "At age 12, I started taking swimming more seriously. At age 17, I realised I could do a lot of things and I decided I didn't want to just follow a sport I wanted to build a career in it. So I did."
Club / Team
Team Elite Aquatics [USA] / Ethnikos Piraeus [GRE]:
Name of coach
Akis Oikonomou [national], GRE
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the 50m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. (Instagram profile, 29 Jul 2019; documentonews.gr, 08 Aug 2019)
Most influential person in career
His uncle, and his coach Akis Oikonomou. (documentonews.gr, 08 Aug 2019)
Hero / Idol
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, US swimmer Michael Phelps. (documentonews.gr, 08 Aug 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Attitude, character, commitment." (tuscaloosanews.com, 10 Apr 2015)
Awards and honours
He received a special award from the Greek Olympic Committee for his contribution to the sport for 2019. (livemedianews.gr, 03 Feb 2020)

While competing at the University of Alabama in the United States of America, he was named the 2014/15 Southeastern Conference [SEC] Male Swimmer of the Year. He was also voted the Most Outstanding Swimmer at the University of Alabama for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons. (swimswam.com, 20 Apr 2015, 24 Apr 2016; rolltide.com, 14 Apr 2015)
Famous relatives
His father Tsvetan represented Bulgaria in swimming at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. (cw.us.edu, 29 Mar 2015; SportsDeskOnline, 18 Nov 2020)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 05 Nov 2020; tovima.gr, 22 Apr 2020)
Other information
LIVING ABROAD
He was born in Bulgaria and grew up in Crete, Greece. He was talent-spotted by the University of Alabama coaches at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and moved to the United States of America to attend the university where he competed during the 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 collegiate seasons. He later moved to San Diego, CA, United States of America, where he trained ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "It's a lot different in San Diego than training in Greece. In America, you have a group of 20 to 25 people to train with every day, and that is really important. Everybody that you train with has the same goals, and that is to achieve something big. We have a really good team right here and everybody is pushing each other. We have great facilities and great weather." (cw.us.edu, 29 Mar 2015; rolltide.com, 31 Oct 2014, 01 Jan 2016; swimswam.com, 01 Jul 2019; documentonews.gr, 08 Aug 2019; usa.greekreporter.com, 05 Apr 2020)

FAMILY TRIBUTE
He says he swims in honour of his late father, and at the end of races kisses his hand and points to the sky. After his mother's death from complications through childbirth, his father moved his sons to Crete, Greece, and worked as a swimming trainer before Kristian moved to Athens in 2010. "My father always wanted one of his sons to follow in his footsteps. When he passed away, I took swimming more seriously. I said, 'I'm going to do this for him'. Every time I race, I am thinking about him and my mother. I point to the sky. I don't know if they are watching, but I hope I make them proud. I'm a tough individual, but life made me this way." (tuscaloosanews.com, 10 Apr 2015; documentonews.gr, 08 Aug 2019)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
5 2021 Tokyo, JPN 50m Freestyle 21.72
Heats 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 100m Freestyle 48.68
Semifinal 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 50m Freestyle 21.98
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 4 x 100m Medley Relay  
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
31 2012 London, ENG 100m Freestyle 50.08
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Semifinal 2019 Gwangju, KOR 50m Butterfly 23.29
2 2019 Gwangju, KOR 50m Freestyle 21.45
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
20 2017 Budapest, HUN 50m Butterfly 23.85 
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 100m Freestyle 48.88
7 2017 Budapest, HUN 50m Freestyle 21.73
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Medley Relay  
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 50m Butterfly 23.96
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 100m Freestyle 49.12
7 2015 Kazan, RUS 50m Freestyle 21.98
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:37.86
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:16.83
Heats 2013 Barcelona, ESP 50m Freestyle 22.62
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 50m Freestyle 21.40
Heats 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 100m Freestyle 47.63
Heats 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 50m Butterfly 23.24
9 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 50m Freestyle 21.50 
32 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 50m Butterfly 23.93 
24 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 100m Freestyle 48.07 
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 100m Freestyle 49.15
29 2012 Istanbul, TUR 50m Freestyle 22.14 
European Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2021 Budapest, HUN 50m Freestyle 21.73
Heats 2021 Budapest, HUN 50m Butterfly 23.61
Heats 2021 Budapest, HUN 100m Freestyle 49.05
5 2021 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:13.39
2 2018 Glasgow, SCO 50m Freestyle 21.44
4 2018 Glasgow, SCO 50m Butterfly 23.19
Heats 2018 Glasgow, SCO 100m Freestyle  DNS
5 2018 Glasgow, SCO 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:14.52
4 2016 London, ENG 50m Freestyle 21.89
Semifinal 2016 London, ENG 100m Freestyle 48.92
Semifinal 2016 London, ENG 50m Butterfly 24.02
4 2016 London, ENG 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:34.41
4 2016 London, ENG 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:14.42
Semifinal 2014 Berlin, GER 100m Freestyle 49.73
7 2014 Berlin, GER 50m Freestyle 22.13
Heats 2014 Berlin, GER 50m Butterfly 24.24
4 2012 Debrecen, HUN 50m Freestyle 22.22
Heats 2012 Debrecen, HUN 100m Freestyle 49.89
6 2012 Debrecen, HUN 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:37.24
European Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
6 2017 Copenhagen, DEN 50m Freestyle 21.02
Semifinal 2017 Copenhagen, DEN 100m Freestyle 47.54
Heats 2017 Copenhagen, DEN 50m Butterfly  DNS
44 2011 Szczecin, POL 100m Freestyle 49.66
20 2011 Szczecin, POL 50m Freestyle 22.58
35 2011 Szczecin, POL 100m Individual Medley 57.26
18 2011 Szczecin, POL 4 x 50m Medley Relay  
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2018 Budapest, HUN 50m Freestyle 21.22