Russian swimmers promise good results in London 2012
The 2012 Olympics are the focus of the Russian national swimming team. Its coaches say there is strength and depth in the squad which is continuing to improve, meaning the fans can expect great things in London.
Even though 11 medals were won by Russia at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, only one of those was gold. Yuliya Efimova claimed the only top of the podium finish for the team, which was – amazingly – the country's first gold in six years.
It was a disappointing result considering the country's high standards but, taking into account, the lack of the financial resources in Russian swimming earlier this decade, the federation was satisfied.
“We consider the past season a success. Not only did we improve our medal haul at the World Championships, but I think we made a big step towards restoring the past glory of our strong swimming tradition,” Sergey Naryshkin, Head of Russian Swimming Federation, said.
Russia's major politicians have become more interested in swimming. This has seen the sportsmen receive additional funding, allowing them to concentrate on their form and results.
However, it is unlikely the Russians will be able to challenge world powers like the Americans in the pool over the next year.
Head coach Viktor Avdienko believes his youngsters have enough time before the Olympics to become real stars.
“The results of Yulia Efimova and Anastasia Zueva only proved that we're on the right track. I think our training methods are working, and you'll be able to see the results in London. At the moment, we've got a few more rising stars coming through,” Viktor Avdienko said.
There is just over three years till the next summer games, but the Russian swimming federation is confident of producing some good performances in London. Whether their bold statements result in success remains to be seen.