“We expect high performance from our athletes at the leg of the Swimming World Cup in Kazan”

“We expect high performance from our athletes at the leg of the Swimming World Cup in Kazan”
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The winners of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2021 will be determined in Kazan on October 28-30. The Aquatics Palace will host the final leg of the competition gathering 292 athletes from 37 countries.

A press conference featuring Emma McKeon, Australian swimmer and the current leader of the World Cup overall standings, Vladimir Morozov, Olympic medallist, Vladimir Salnikov, President of the All-Russian Swimming Federation, FINA Bureau member, four-time Olympic champion, Craig Hunter, Deputy Chairman of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, and Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, was held before the tournament kick-off.

Vladimir Salnikov was the first to deliver a welcoming speech and rated Kazan’s readiness to host the competitions highly.

“Welcome to Kazan, the capital of swimming, even the world swimming. This city, and the Aquatics Palace, which has already hosted the largest swimming competitions, deserve to hold the World Cup leg. All services do a god job; the pool is shining and ready-to-go. In this difficult time, I would like to wish you to endure the stress of the pandemic. The organisers made every possible effort to observe measures preventing the spread of the virus. All the leading athletes from all over the world are here, in Kazan. We expect their high performance and wish everyone good luck!” said Vladimir Salnikov.

Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan noted the strong lineup of the FINA World Cup leg in Kazan.

“We are glad to welcome our guests. This is the final leg; it is the qualification before the forthcoming World Championship in Abu Dhabi. We expect high performance since all the athletes are very strong”, said Minister.

Craig Hunter, Deputy Chairman of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, told in detail about the main intrigue of the upcoming competitions – the new scoring system.

“We are very glad to get back to Kazan, where we have already seen the swimming competitions, and find ourselves at this excellent facility. As you may know, this-year World Cup will use a new system, and we are looking forward to the Saturday evening to learn the winner of the year. Currently, Emma McKeon is the leader among women; she outscores Kira Toussaint; for men, Matthew Sates, Arno Kamminga and Tom Shields are the top three, separated by only few points. We hope to see all the leading athletes at the World Championship in Abu Dhabi! We also would like to thank the FINA partners and say words of gratitude to the hosts of the competitions”, said Craig Hunter.

Emma McKeon, an Australian swimmer, expressed her readiness to keep the first place in the overall standings and recalled her first visit to Kazan.

“Of course, I would like to keep the lead, but I focus on the competitions I have entered for. I also want to improve my performance. I am glad to be back in Kazan after six years. I am aware of the things I am responsible for, but I will focus on my distances. I have already experienced similar pressure, and in such cases, you need to think of how to perform better rather than of anything else. In 2015, I was in Kazan for the first time. Back then, not everything worked well for me at the World Championship, but a lot has changed since then. I am glad I can visit other countries. Russia greatly differs from Australia, and it is very interesting for me to be here”, said the athlete.

Vladimir Morozov, a Russian swimmer, told about his fitness before the start in Kazan.

“Currently, I use these starts to get fit. My primary goal is the World Championship in Abu Dhabi. I am always happy when I return to Kazan”, shared Vladimir Morozov.

Both athletes noted that unfortunately, due to the limitations, the leg of the World Cup in Kazan will be held without spectators.

“I wish there was a crowd at the stands since I like to compete when fans support us. The same conditions were applied to the Olympics in Tokyo and other competitions, but we accept this. If that’s the way, so be it”, commented Emma McKeon.

“It is harder to swim without fans, especially in Kazan, because the crowd here is just crazy. At first it was very strange when there were none but now I feel comfortable with it”, noted Vladimir Morozov.

Press Office of the ANO “Directorate for Sports and Social Projects”