Official website of 16th FINA World Championships 2015 in Kazan
16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015

Melissa Gorman: Russian ballet is what I want to see

24.07.2015, 13:20 Sport
Mellissa Gorman is known as the first Australian to win gold medal in the 5km event at the 2009 World Championships. Despite successful performances in the swimming pool, here in Kazan she intends to compete in an open swimming event.

Putting all the trainings above everything else, Melissa Gorman will have to miss the Opening Ceremony today. She has already been impressed with the high level of such sports facilities as the Aquatics Palace and Kazanka Venue; she also mentioned a comfortable atmosphere created for athletes in Kazan and the water temperature, which is lower than in Australia.

Starting with the Commonwealth Games 2006 where she became a 800m freestyle silver medallist she kept on competing which brought her even to London 2012. Before that, at Beijing 2008 Melissa became the only Australian participant in the 10km event where she made a debut and finished 15th. Back in Australia she is a 1,500m and 5km repeat Australian champion and a widely known athlete. Mel, which is short for Melissa, also says that she learned to swim at 3 years old and that she spends every weekend at the beach.

 – You’ve started with the short distance once. What made you change your mind and start performing in an open-water swimming?

– The whole my life I’ve been swimming in a swimming pool, but then in 2006 the open water swimming event was included in the Olympic programme and I decided to have a try. Thanks to a given variety of water bodies I prefer the Open Water swimming event because it may be either a lake or a river or an ocean – so much fun.

– What do you prefer the most?

– An ocean, because we have it in Australia.

– What are your impressions of Russia?

– I am in Russia for the first time and I find it quite welcoming here. So far I haven’t seen anything around – just the hotel and training sessions. Although next weekend I am about to spend in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Russia has a remarkable history. I would really want to visit the Summer Palace – it is fabulous and Russian Ballet as well.

 – In your opinion who are the favourites of the open water swimming event?

 – That is quite difficult to answer! Every country is represented by the best athletes. The level of competitions itself is going to be extremely high, especially when the Olympic Champions start competing in 10km distance this week. Every single athlete will strive to make it to the top 10. It is not going to be that easy to compete among the athletes from the USA, Greece, Great Britain and others.  

– Do many athletes from Australia compete in open water in Kazan?

– Eight athletes: four ladies and four men.

– Why don’t you compete in the 10km race?

– Not this time. There are two other teammates who I know very well. I have taken this distance earlier as well as 25 km. I may swim this distance again. Unfortunately, I am not supposed to qualify for the Olympics in my distance, but hopefully, our girls will be able to and make it into the top 10.

– Even 5 km is challenging to swim.

– This race is much fun. We train hard a lot to be able to continue the race. It takes about one hour to swim, so high-energy foods are very important. It’s really a great fun! I like long- distance races.

– What is on your mind during the swim? Can you watch the sky?

– From time to time. I can sometimes see people around (smiles).

– Why this sport?

– I think the Australian culture of sport has influenced my decision. We are a sporty nation that even being a kid you are busy with activities every weekend. One swims, another plays football or cricket. For example, I enjoy swimming and being part of Surf Life Saving community organisation, which is a popular in Australia volunteering movement that promotes water safety and provides surf rescue services.

– Do you want to win gold in Kazan?

– Oh, with great pleasure. I am not putting myself under pressure. I want to concentrate on my job and give the best I can, have a good start and a good finish. Yes, I would like to conquer a medal, especially gold.

– Do you feel support from your family?

-I do. My mom has always encouraged me to do what I enjoy most. She has even arrived in Russia to watch the competitions. She comes to the Kazanka Venue to support me on Saturday.

– Who do you root for?

– Australia, for sure, though I have a lot of friends from other teams, for example, the USA and Great Britain as we always meet each other at the same competitions – Ashley Twichell, Keri-Anne Payne and others.

– Do you want to meet Michael Phelps?

– We met for the Olympics in Beijing.

– What is he like?

– Quite reasonable. All athletes seem to be ordinary people.

Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships