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

Masters athlete Denis Kuzhman: We will be training for European Championships in London and World Championships in Budapest

16.08.2015, 15:40 Sport
The 16th FINA World Masters Championships offered a lot of emotions to its fans and participants. Somebody leaves the host city with a number of medals, somebody takes home just pleasant memories. Some succeeded in both these aspects. Swimmer from Ekaterinburg, Denis Kuzhman, who has been a professional recently, sat down for an interview with a journalist of the Organising Committee.

– What distances did you take part in?

– I chose five distances, so that I could compete in one each day. We didn’t apply for relays, as we didn’t have enough people on the team. I must say, I competed in four of them, two brought me bronze, the other two – sixth and seventh places.

– If you managed to complete the podium, you must have had proper training ahead of the competitions?

– The training was not intense, because I sometimes trained in the morning, sometimes in the evening for 40-45 minutes, 1-2.5 km every training session. I trained 6-8 times a week.

– How did you start swimming? Did you compete on a professional level before Masters?

– I swam professionally till 2008 first in Novotroitsk, the Orenburg Oblast, then in Ekaterinburg from 2004.

– Why did you retire?

– I had to provide my living and earn more than I did by swimming at that time. I got a job at a fitness centre and started to teach swimming to others. It was a good life experience. Now I train both children and adults.

– What impression did the Championships leave on you? Are you satisfied with its organisation?

– Very good impressions. Everything’s up to the level. I was at international tournaments, of the CIS and abroad, in Moscow. It was ten years ago. So I can say Kazan organised the competitions to a good standard. Start lists and results were timely issued and made public. The organisers always kept you updated on the time and place of a race, medal ceremony, etc. There was a pool where you could train regardless of whether you would compete that day or not. As for accommodation, most participants found accommodation on their own, but the Athletes’ Village was available, as well. As one of its benefits you could use the Championships buses which brought you to the venue according to the schedule even if there were just two or three passengers. Everybody was satisfied.

– Many athletes share one point of view that the main idea of the Masters Tournament mostly seems to be just a reason to gather, to communicate, to meet new people. Do you agree with it?

– Yes, lots of the athletes usually go to the Championships to see each other, to gather as one big family, even to party. For example, we, athletes haven’t seen each other for about 8 or 10 years since we’ve retired from the professional sport defending Russian national team. Sometimes we get in touch in chats, social networks but the face-to-face communication is much better, especially at the Championships.

– In your opinion who seems to be the maturest athlete in swimming?

– Boris Ruzhitskiy of Ekaterinburg is the maturest athlete in the 70-74 age group. He claimed gold in the 50m butterfly and bronze in the 100m butterfly. Since during the event he had high blood pressure he didn’t make much effort to finish the race first, the health was much more important for him. Nevertheless in this very event he claimed bronze. Such people deserve respect. In the Urals he became the first Master of Sports in swimming.

– Did you go sightseeing in Kazan?

– I have already been to Kazan before. I am familiar a bit with the city, I know where the main sights are located, what places are worth seeing. But this time, due to the competitions, I couldn't do any sights because I just wanted to relax and not to overstrain my legs ahead of the heat. I would have certainly rent a bike, had a ride around the city but unfortunately I couldn't, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished the race with a time I was planning to.

– When are you leaving home?

– After the competitions on the last day, that very evening we are heading to Ekaterinburg. There we’ll be gearing up for the European Championships in London and the World Championships in Budapest.  The training is going to be much more serious this time, I’ve claimed bronze in the 200m butterfly even though I was not practicing it that much. I am about to get better results in the further championships that’s why I need to practice more. 

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