Yevgeniy Suprunov became the World Masters champion in the men's 1m springboard event in the 55-59 age group. He earned 188.65 points for six dives and finished more than 30 points ahead of his rivals. However, as the athlete admitted, he was not content with his result.
The Master of Sport International Class, repeat medallist of international Masters championships and director of the Cristal Masters Swim Club (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine) began to do acrobatics at the age of 8. Two years later he took up diving. By that time he had already moved with his parents to Almaty (Kazakhstan), though he was born in Odessa (Ukraine). From 1970-1976, the athlete represented the Kazakh SSR until he was invited to Dnepropetrovsk by the Sports Committee of the USSR.
– What are your impressions of the final?
– I am not content with my personal result. It is not the medal, but the result that matters. It sometimes happens that you are second to the last, but you executed the dives well and you’re satisfied. The rivals were weaker, I could have done better. I picked up less than 200 points here, though I have always earned over 200.
– What is the most memorable medal in your career?
– The USSR Championships in 1974. A prestigious tournament for the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper prize.
– How did you happen to represent two national teams?
– I left Kazakhstan for my homeland in 1976. I am from Odessa and represented Ukraine, performing at the Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR. I retired from professional sport in 1983, my last performance taking place in Kiev. In 2007, I started to participate in large world and European Masters tournaments.
– What do you think about the delivery of the World Masters Championships?
– The organisation is wonderful. It’s a pity that only few swimmers and no water polo team or synchronised swimmers came from Ukraine. We had participating teams in synchronised swimming and even a mixed duet at the FINA World Championships. The Russians were much better, for sure. They did a good job.
– Why do Chinese athletes dominate in high performance diving whereas Russia reigns supreme in synchro swimming?
– They go swimming from the age of four and they have a lot of talented children to select from. Why do they lead in diving? Because the Asian school has started long time ago, when our coaches moved there in the 1970s. They did not have good divers up to the 1980s. We retired to give way to such rising stars as Dmitry Sautin, for example, who already had to hold off a strong competition from Chinese divers in 1988. There were Ukrainians, too, but diving in our country was suffering setback back then.
– What are you busy with now?
– I train Masters athletes. I am President of Cristal Masters Swim Club. Our club doesn't focus on some specific sport but promotes all kinds of sports in our region. Personally, I prefer aquatic disciplines.
– How long have you been training for the tournament in Kazan?
– A week or so. I had no time to practice the 1m springboard before the competitions, that’s why I am not satisfied with the result. But I hope I can manage the 3m event. We’ll see it tomorrow.
Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships
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