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

Helmut Hertelendy, 65-year-old Masters athlete: I swim 4-5 kilometres every day

08.08.2015, 15:15 Interviews
Despite their age, the majority of Masters tournament competitors dedicate quite a lot of time to daily sports practices. Helmut Hertelendy of Germany, the open water swim champion in the 65-69 age group, talked about how sport is still important in his life.

– How did you feel after finishing the open water swim race at the Masters tournament?

– The water is great. Since the 3km event is a very long course, the open water swim was not that easy but I feel quite good.

– You’ve claimed gold. Congratulations!

– I am very happy. This medal is quite important to me!

– How long have you been into swimming?

– I started swimming when I was 20 years old. Then I became fond of alpine skiing. Unfortunately I suffered a lot of injuries during this time and I had to quit. It’s been ten years now since I’ve taken up swimming again. The first Championships I competed in were in Austria, the next ones were in Switzerland and now it is Russia. Kazan is a very attractive city, people are friendly and welcoming here, everything is great.

– What do you think about the event management here?

– Amazing! The best competitions I've ever taken part in. I arrived in Kazan at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and only one hour later, around 3, I already received my accreditation badge. It is awesome!

– What about the sport, how important is it in your life?

– It is very important. I train six times a week, racing 4-5 kilometres a day. I am fond of swimming. Now I am 65, I’ve retired this year that’s why right now I am able to swim whenever I want not just early in the morning or late in the evening like I used to do. I don’t even watch TV; nothing distracts me from swimming.

– Did you have time to attend any sporting events at the FINA Worlds?

– Yes, I have, I have seen the 800m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 100m butterfly and some other events. It was really breathtaking! 

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