Evgeniia Stepanova from Nevskaya Volna Club won her third gold medal at the Masters Championships in Kazan. The diver who competes in the 75-79 age group conquered the springboard and platform.
The athlete started diving together with her friends and won the USSR Championships just a year later. The break lasted over 30 years during which she worked as a trainer and became an engineer. In 1999 she went to perform in Innsbruck, Austria thanks to some sponsor and earned gold in the 5m platform. The same year she became gold again at the Open Championships in Finland. Since then the unstoppable Team Russia representative has performed at many World and European championships. The tournament in Kazan has appeared to be special in her career. “You can’t let your country down at the domestic Championships,” stated Evgeniia, starting her training ahead of the competitions.
- How long have you been into diving?
- It was 60 years ago when I started at the age of 15. It so happened that I chose diving. I have performed as a Masters athlete for the 16th time since I turned 60. I know all the female athletes quite well.
- How many medals are there in your collection?
- Many. It becomes larger with every year. This time I decided to take my grandgrandson to the Championships. (Her grandgrandson is twisting in his hands a bouquet of flowers from the medal ceremony and proudly says his name.)
- Why does diving attract you most?
- First of all, it is my favourite hobby, it is part of my life. Executing dives at this age, I want to show everyone, especially youngsters, that it is great when you make the right choice and progress.
- Will you dwell on your sporting career, please?
- Back then when I was young I was twice a Soviet Union’s Champion. Then I took a break, and now I am back. You know it’s great to be fit and well. It is youngsters who approve and are interested in our achievements most.
- Do you happen to practice much?
- Not that much nowadays. About three hours twice a week at the gym and in the swimming pool. Moreover, it takes me one or two hours more to get to the swimming pool and back home.
- Today you dived from the platform. Aren’t you scared of the height?
- At my age I am not afraid anymore. I really wanted to compete because I knew from the very beginning that I was kind of unbeatable, I was sure about claiming all the three contested gold medals. And I am quite satisfied with my performance today.
- Will you continue to take part in competitions?
- As far as I am healthy enough, I am going to keep on.
- Why would you recommend young athletes to choose diving?
- Diving comprises all necessary elements of success, such as courage, persistence and, of course, physical training.
Press Office for Organising Committee of 16th FINA World Championships