14:43 GMT20 February 2020
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    British swimmer Tatiana Belonogoff, gold medal winner in the women’s 50m breaststroke at the 2018 European Junior Championships, has been living and training in Saint Petersburg for some time now and is currently on track to only compete under the Russian flag from now on.

    European Junior Champion Tatiana Belonogoff is now in the midst of changing her sports citizenship from British to Russian, President of the Russian Swimming Federation Vladimir Salnikov confirmed.

    “The process of changing Belonogoff’s sport nationality is ongoing, the documents are in the works”, Salnikov revealed to the Russian media.

    It was earlier reported by the news organisation SwimSwam that Belonogoff was about to move to permanently represent Russia as she has already been living in Saint Petersburg since June 2019 and recently competed under the Russian flag during the FFN Golden Tour top in Nice, where she finished second in the women’s 50m breast during the first day of competitions.

    “The decision took me quite a long time. I was thinking about it for months and just couldn’t make up my mind. Obviously there is a lot to consider. I finally made my decision about May of last year”, the swimmer told SwimSwam.

    Belonogoff’s former club Guildford City also said that they understood the 18-year-old athlete’s decision and that it was “completely amicable”.

    The swimmer has lived in Britain all her life and competed under the Union Jack, but was said to be “hugely influenced” by her Russian mother during her upbringing. She finished first in the women’s 50m breaststroke at the 2018 European Junior Championships in Helsinki and second in the 100m breaststroke at the British Championships last year. She has also recently competed at the 2019 Russian National Championships.

    Tags:
    swimming, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Russia
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