Kazan 2015: Ibone (85): “Before the dives I’m still nervous”
If you have household names in Masters diving, Ibone Belausteguigoitia is definitely one of them: she earned more than 30 gold medals at Masters Worlds and more than 130 titles in the US Masters circuit.
Though always being a ‘threat’ for announcers of any given competitions – just try to pronounce her name, clearly showing her Basque origins as she was born in Bilbao, Spain –, she is one of the most popular participants of the events. She’s just entered the 85-89 age group – here she is the oldest member of the women’s diving field. But she is still in great shape, or rather: she is in amazing shape!
Kazan 2015: The Indian star of the diving meet
Rajendrakumar Kahnpade didn’t have too much practice before the competition. In fact, he arrived to Kazan just last evening, today he came to the pool, had a couple of jumps, then stepped up to the 1m springboard to perform his dives.
Which he learns from a paper, before each attempt.
Well, it’s rather a kind of repetition for the 62 years old. He had few competitions in the past, however, just to be on the safe side, he carefully studies that sheet from time to time. It’s the official list of dives. And it’s good to have them at hand, since Mr. Kahnpade dives only in competitions, more precisely, solely at the FINA World Masters Championships. Between them – no diving. Not a single session. Or dive. “We don’t have any facilities where I can train” he explains.
SWC 2015, Moscow Day 1: Tired after the Worlds but still champions
The gold medallists of FINA World championships in Kazan stood their ground at the first leg of FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Moscow – this season in 50m-pool. The times were not as fast as just a few days ago and the competitors felt themselves more relaxed, but still motivated.
In the first final of the day, South African Chad Le Clos touched first in 100m free clocking 48.16. Nikita Lobintsev and Danila Izotov of Russia came second and third respectively (48.48 and 48.59).
On his trip from Kazan to Moscow, Le Clos said: “I had a very short break. I arrived to Moscow at 2am last night. The facilities are great here, it’s always a pleasure to come to ‘Olympiyskiy’. I have good support here. That’s why I feel really comfortable. Besides, it’s the best personal time for me in 100m free, so definitely I’m happy with my performance”.
Kazan 2015: Rather swim than walk
While participants of the men’s breaststroke races left the last call room as the heats followed each other in quick succession – 30 heats were held alone in this event! – a nice, old gentleman was sitting at the exit. His walking stick was just leant to the chair he got, and he silently waited for the end of the competition. Well, in his age (85) and with his minor disability, Peter Couttie found it better to get the closest possible to the pool deck, since he was called soon to the victory ceremony of the 100m free event. And if you travel to Kazan from the remote Australia, one thing is for sure: you simply cannot miss your big occasion when you receive your gold medal.
The new world champion is coming from the south western side of the continent, he did running in his heydays, then took on triathlon where was admitted to swimming. “There was no one in my hometown who would teach me swimming” he says. “So I did it on my own. Read books, tried some techniques. It worked somehow.”
Kazan 2015: And here come the Masters
Though the FINA World Championships are over in Kazan, the designated venues are still busy with competitions of the aquatic disciplines. As a novelty, the FINA World Masters Championships are held together with the “big event” – swimming, diving and water polo competitions are staged immediately after the conclusion of the elite champs, while open water and synchro have already been finished.
Two “real” World Championships venues accommodate the Masters participants: one was the magnificent open water course in the Kazanka River (the other is the diving facility in the Aquatic Palace). The usual 3km race saw hundreds of participants, the oldest ones represented Russia, Stanislav Viazovskii and Igor Brovin belonged to the 80-84 years old age group – and in fact they clocked even better times than the winner in the 75-79 years old category! (Viazovskii covered the course in 1:08.22.8 hours.)
Kazan 2015 sets benchmark for Budapest 2017
At the end of the most successful ever FINA World Championships, FINA OC Kazan 2015 and the Budapest 2017 Organising Committee hosted a press conference at the Kazan Arena, thus concluding in the best possible way the Russian rendezvous and passing the relay to the Maygar capital for the major FINA event in two-years’ time.
After 75 events – a new record – in the programme, 31 countries on the podium, and new nations emerging at the highest level, the Kazan showcase came to an end in a festive Closing Ceremony, attended by the Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, but also by the leader of the Government of the next host, Hungary’s Viktor Orban.
Swimming, Day 8: USA wins “Team Trophy” in Kazan
Katie Ledecky (USA) and Sun Yang (CHN) were the best swimmers of the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan (RUS), after the completion of the eight days of competition. The US star collected five golds and three World Records, while the Chinese champion goes home with two world titles and a silver medal. The team of the United States also won the overall “Team Trophy” of the competition, after being at the top of the medals’ table, with 8 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze medals, for a total of 23 podium presences. However, since 1998, this is the second worse result for US, after the 22 medals in Rome 2009 (but with 10 golds on the counter).
To this US relatively modest result contributed the excellent performances of Australia, China and Great Britain, the next ranked countries in the medal’s table, with 16, 13 and 9 awards respectively. In terms of comparison, Australia had only 13 medals in Barcelona (but three golds in 2013 against 7 now), China was at 9, and Great Britain had only placed one athlete in the podium! In a medal chart with 23 countries, new entries included Jamaica, Singapore and Argentina.
Swimming, Day 7: Katie Ledecky gets fifth gold and third WR
Two new World Records, raising the total so far to 12, highlighted the seventh and penultimate day of the swimming competition at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan (RUS). Katie Ledecky was once more the athlete to watch, this time in the 800m free, getting her fifth gold in Russia and becoming the first women under 8:10, while the victorious US free mixed relay also improved the North Americans’ relatively modest statistics at these Worlds. Otherwise, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) continued to shine, Chad Le Clos (RSA) impressed in the 100m butterfly (where Singapore got its first medal ever at the FINA World Championships, thanks to the bronze of Joseph Schooling), Florent Manaudou (FRA) won the men’s 50m free, and Emily Seebohm (AUS) beat Missy Franklin (USA) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN) in the women’s 200m backstroke.
Katie Ledecky continues saving the honour of the USA at these FINA World Championships and after winning the 200m, 400m, 1500m (bettering the WR twice) and 4x200m free relay, the 18-year-old shone once more in the women’s 800m free, doing a solitary race for a gold medal and new World Record of 8:07.39. The North American had clocked 8:11.00 in June 2014 and now becomes the first woman to ever swim this distance under 8:10. She also accumulates her ninth gold medal at Worlds, after four major successes two years ago in Barcelona. Her race record is perfect, with nine finals swum and nine gold medals won!
FINA pays tribute to Russian and Tatar authorities in Kazan
On the occasion of the successful FINA World Championships currently being held in Kazan, Russia, FINA paid tribute to the Russian authorities by rewarding Russia’s Minister of Sport Mr. Vitaly Mutko and the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Mr. Rustam Minnikhanov with the highest FINA award, the FINA Order.
The FINA Order is generally granted to Head of States or individuals of high dignity, who have achieved remarkable merit in the world of Aquatics. FINA discerned this recognition to Mr. Vitaly Mutko and Mr. Rustam Minnikhanov to reward their active involvement in FINA’s biggest showcase event and to show gratitude for their commitment toward aquatic sports.
Water Polo Reports - Men, FINALS
Serbia adds World title to World Cup and World League crowns
Serbia reclaimed the World title it lost to Italy in Shanghai four years ago with a dominant 11-4 victory over Olympic champion Croatia.
The perennial World League champion, who also won World Cup gold last year in Kazakhstan, will now channel its focus for next year’s Olympic title in Rio de Janiero.
Serbia was 2-0 down early and then kept Croatia scoreless until the third period, going on to record a powerful victory.
In the bronze-medal match, Greece was never headed, but Italy fought back for a 7-7 final score, requiring a penalty shootout. Greece won the penalties 4-2 and with the bronze medal came a satisfying Olympic qualification berth, one of two on offer at this tournament. Croatia had already gained the first spot as Serbia had pre-qualified as the World League champion.
Montenegro, second in Barcelona in 2013, played a controlled match against Hungary, winning 10-9 after leading 10-7 with two minutes remaining. It was a rematch of the Barcelona final two years ago when Hungary won.
In the play-off for seventh, United States of America beat Australia 10-6 with captain Tony Azevedo, playing his eighth FINA World Championships stretching back to 1998, scoring four goals.
TOURNAMENT MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Dusko Pijetlovic (SRB)
Alexandr Axenov (KAZ) 22
MEDIA ALL STAR TEAM
Josip Pavic (CRO)
Dusko Pijetlovic (SRB)
Alexandr Axenov (KAZ)
Francesco di Fulvio (ITA)
Ioannis Fountoulis (GRE)
Petar Muslim (CRO)
Aaron Younger (AUS)
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