The women’s 400m gold medallist, Alfiya Gubina, told about her journey from a childhood hobby to a top podium spot at the FINA World Masters Championships.
– How long have you been into swimming?
– I have been fond of sport since childhood. When I grew up and started work, I had no time for sport. Only when I retired, I started to go swimming for my health. My first Russian Championships took place this year. I was invited to Kazan and won all the medals in the distances I applied for: six gold medals in an array of individual races and one silver in the relay event. The triumph led me directly to the World Championships, though I was aware of many worthy rivals. My children, son and daughter, who are both Masters of Sport, supported me very much. I did not believe in myself because I thought I will be the last one to finish, but it turned out once again that I was the best. And it feels good to be a world champion.
– Will you reveal a secret of your longevity?
– I do my best to live according to a certain schedule. You know even little physical exercises can bring positive results, and if you combine them with twice-a-week-swimming activities it will benefit our health enabling us to live longer! It is a common truth that swimming helps to prolong our lives!
– What encourages Masters athletes to keep on swimming?
– Oh, it is a constant internal struggle. Once you’ve won this struggle, there will be nothing to worry about in the future!
– Speaking of the Championships, what was the most memorable moment for you?
– The last time I visited Kazan was 40 years ago. Nowadays Kazan is hardly recognisable compared to the city it used to be back then, the usual and undistinguished. At the present time it is even better than Moscow in some way. The Championships gathered the athletes from absolutely different countries; it was so nice to see extremely strong women and men who at such a mature age keep moving, winning, and incentivising everyone around them to never give up and to keep their pecker up.
Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships