Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Upon the poolside interview, just seconds after his brilliant win in the men’s 100m IM, Michael Andrews talked about how great it felt that the strokes came together so nicely... Well, those strokes... A little more than a year ago the giant US boy made his name at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore.

One day he swam five events. The other saw him capturing gold in the 50m back, silver in the 50m free and clocking the best time in the 50m fly semis (next day he earned silver there, too). In the very same session, within approximately 80 minutes. So it’s no surprise that he managed to put together all these strokes here in Windsor and ended up standing on the top of podium.

“I didn’t expect that, for sure” he smiled in the iZone. “I hoped I could break the junior World Record (51.93), which I did obviously (51.84), but thought it might be enough for a bronze. It turned out to be good for gold and that’s awesome.”

Michael is known for turning into professional at the age of 14, which was a big splash in the States. So many watched him at this year’s Olympic trials but despite producing a couple of great swims he couldn’t make the cut for Rio. News started spreading, what’s next for him, the youngest swimming pro ever, and so on...

“You know the media, they love to create these kind of stories. But I’m seventeen only, had some really good races, clocked great times so it was a pretty good meet for me. You know, my achievements are not judged here, by the press or by anyone, it’s judged through my connection with God” he points upstairs while saying this.

In fact, Andrew is deeply religious. Back in Singapore, at the junior Worlds he gave this answer when I asked him about his idol. “Personally, my idol… When I look up to someone, I will look up to God because God blesses everything…”

What the young Michael is also famous for is to be the frontrunner (swimmer...) in a unique programme called Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT).

No heavy loads, no long hours and dozens of kilometres, instead just an hour in the water per session, a series of short bursts of training – and no weightlifting or other tough dryland workouts added.

“The programme is getting better and better and it’s working great” he explains. “And this world title is a pinnacle of that” he says.

Upon leaving, he turns back and adds with a smile: “So far.”