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Irina Rybanina: I really hope to claim my first gold medal at these Championships

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13.08.2015, 17:17 Sport
Irina Rybanina hasn’t gone swimming for about 20 years, but it took her not that long to make up for lost time and get fit again. Being encouraged by other athletes’ success, she arrived in Kazan to grab nothing but gold in the 60-69 age group.

– What medals do you already have under your belt?

– I was supposed to take part in five events at these Championships. I’ve already competed in 800m  freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and finished 8th, 3rd, 6th respectively. Besides, our team competing in two relay events claimed silver and bronze. Now there is only one event left for me, 400m, and I really hope to grab gold there.

– How long have you been involved into swimming?

– Starting from 1970, I’ve been representing the Moscow team at swimming competitions. Then I had to take a 20-year break when I was completely busy with upbringing of my two children. After a while I decided to come back and at 50 I already gained some good results, whereas at 55 I happened to be the best of the best, swimming in races. Now at 60 I just try to keep fit.

– What is the brightest victory of your life?

– My time of 31 seconds in the relay event is just amazing. I have never thought that at the age of 61 I could show this time in freestyle. This is my best result, I could hardly hide my emotions. I am sure if I had showed the same time in the individual event, I would have taken gold.

– What do you think what sport is it better for young people to go info?

– Swimming brings health, that’s why I returned to sport to maintain my health. When I stopped swimming, I started to get sick. If I had turned back time, I would not have made such a long break.

– Is this your first FINA World Masters Championships?

– Yes, it is, and I would like to become the champion here.

– How did you come up with the idea to participate in the tournament? Maybe, somebody motivated you for new victories?

– Head of Poseidon Club, Alexandr Bashmakov, inspired me. Back then I was not confident in my strength, but now I feel the confidence that I need to win and claim gold medals.

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