The fourth day of swimming events at the FINA World Championships in Kazan turned out to be packed with events: eight finals were contested in four disciplines. A large number of participants in swimming events comes as no surprise because every person could have entered to compete in the Masters tournament. It’s not the victory but the participation that matters. And the truth of this saying was demonstrated by the participation of Tatarstan’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport Vladimir Leonov in today’s 50m freestyle event.
The fourth competition day of the FINA World Masters swimming tournament started really early with the women’s 50 freestyle heats. Since it’s one of the most popular events, there were quite a lot of those who wanted to show off their skills in this distance. For instance, only the women’s tournament featured 25 heats. The maturest among the participants was Masako Otsuka of Japan; she’s 90 years old. The world record was set by Sanderina Kruger of Soutrh Africa; she covered the distance in 31.28.
The men’s 50m freestyle event was even larger in terms of participation than the women’s. According to the official data, 1,145 male and 440 female swimmers took part in this event during all the competition days. Taking into consideration this number, it becomes clear why there were 58 heats today in the 50m freestyle event. But all the limelight today was on Tatarstan’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport Vladimir Leonov who competed in this event in the 35-39 age group and finished with a time of 28.85. In this race, he was also joined by two other Tatarstan high-officials: Head of the Moskosky and Kirovsky City Districts Damir Fattakhov and Director of the Kazan Tennis Academy Ravil Nogumanov.
“The good thing about the Masters tournament is that it’s not the victory but the participation that matters here. Of course, we always want a better result. Apparently, a long flight from Brazil prevented me from showing the result I’m actually capable of showing. What we do here when we get off the starting block, swim a distance and finish with a good time is a victory over ourselves,” Vladimir Leonov said after the race.
“The main things are the thrill of competition and passion I now have for this sport. I’ve never gone swimming before. I offered Vladimir Leonov to gear up more seriously and to compete in the next Masters tournament. I hope that we will have the same strong motivation in two years,” Damir Fattakhov said with a smile.
The next swimming events that were contested were the men’s and women’s 200m medley. Jan Ziegler of the Czech Republic broke the world record after covering the race in 4:51.03.
The men’s and women’s 100 butterfly events also saw a world record being set by Roumania’s Ioan Stefan Gherghel who finished the distance in 55.35. The final heats were contested the men’s and women’s breaststroke events.
Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships
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