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16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015
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Evgenii Drattcev: Weather? I'm trained enough to swim in cold water

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http://www.sport-express.ru
21.07.2015, 08:00 Sport
More and more athletes arrive every day in Kazan for the 16th FINA World Championships, among them one of Russia's most famous open water swimmers, Evgenii Drattcev. The seven-time world championship medallist and five-time European championship medallist and his teammates tested the swimming pool in the Aquatics Palace where the long-distance swimmers held two training sessions the day before.

However, open water swimmers will compete in the water area of the Kazanka River. The competitions start at the Kazanka Venue from July 25-August 1. Evgenii Drattcev sat down with the Press Office of the Organising Committee for an exclusive interview to shed some light on his expectations of the tournament and to explain whether he feels sorry or not that he will not swim the Olympic distance.

– I have already been to Kazan before. I competed here at the Russian Championships, so I am familiar with the city and the swimming pool.

– However, you are to perform at a new venue, in the open water, not in the warm pool of the Aquatics Palace this time. This has its impact on your training programme, doesn’t it?

– Not at all. We have enough time before the start and in several days we have a chance to test the route. So we will have enough time to gear up.

– But it so happens that host athletes have no advantage over athletes from other countries. Isn’t it a shame?

– Why shame? We are under equal conditions at this Championships because we start training sessions in the open water all at the same time. Of course, we wouldn't have minded trying out the route before other competitors. But the venue was not ready yet and it was still cold outside in the spring (smiles).

– By the way, have you looked up the weather forecast for the competition days? It says it will be mainly cloudy.

– Yes, no weather change for these days. But what is more important for athletes is the water temperature.

– Besides, Team Russia's coaching staff has dropped me a hint that it is even more comfortable to swim in cold water. Is it really so?

- It’s true, indeed. I have been swimming for ages and quite often I had to swim in cold water. So I am all ready for it.

– What you mean to say is that this cloudy weather favours you unlike other athletes?

– No, it’s not an advantage. The weather doesn’t matter to me. I can perform in any type of weather. As for some other swimmers, I know they have a hard time swimming in cold water.

– At the Championships, you are going to compete in two events (5km and 25 km), but both of them are not Olympic ones. Are you a bit upset about missing out on Olympic qualification in the 10km event?  

– A little bit, to tell you the truth. Unfortunately, at the Russian Championships I failed to make it to the national team.

– So if you fail, are you likely to miss the second Olympic Games in a row? Or do you still hope for a better outcome and believe that you’ll finally get a chance to compete at Rio 2016?

– Rio 2016 is still an option for me, but it’s not so appropriate to speak about it right now. (The Russian 10km opening swimming team for the 2016 Olympic Games will be represented by Kirill Abrosimov and Daniil Serebrennikov, but if they don’t get the qualifying spot, then Evgenii Drattcev at the end of the upcoming Championships will be among candidates for Rio 2016 - V.D.). It will happen the way it is meant to happen.

–You already earned medals at the past two World Championships. What medals are you planning to claim this time? 

– Of course my target is to win a medal (smiles). I am good at the 25km event. I like it very much and I’ve been swimming it for three years now. I haven't seen any start lists yet but I assume that I will have to face some very fierce opponents. And it's obvious that other competitors will strain every sinew to win the race and to qualify for the Olympics. 

– Since there are two distances to swim, are you about to top both of them?

– The 5km race is not my best event. I’ve taken the podium spots in this distance, but the thing is it’s been before. This type of race is usually swum by young athletes whereas I mostly focus on the 25km event.

– Bronze medal is not that bad, but don’t you think it’s high time you got something better?

– Yeah, I think so (laughs).

Vsevolod Dvorkin, Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships