Meilutytė is invited to participate in the world championship

The Olympic Games in distant Brazil were not successful for our swimmers, and the star of the London Olympic champion Rūta Meilutytė suddenly fell there. The head coach of the swimming team Ž. Ovsiukas. He became the director of Anykščiai Physical Culture and Sports Center. And Ž. Ovsiuk’s former position in the swimming team was abolished altogether.

Ž. Ovsiuk did not dive into the lagoon of the district official’s work. But did not dive too deeply and successfully returned to work as a swimming coach.

Žilvinas and I talked about the performance of the most capable Lithuanian swimmers in the big international Swim Open Stockholm competition (April 9–12) in the Swedish capital, about the national championship in Klaipėda (April 19–22), about the world championship starting on June 18 in Budapest and preparation for him.

– Before talking about swimming, I would like to ask about directing at Anykščiai Physical Culture and Sports Center. Didn’t like the official’s job?

– I can’t say I didn’t like it. Soon maybe I liked it… After the Games in Rio de Janeiro I needed a break. I no longer wanted to think about swimming from morning to night. It was necessary to recover, to think. After a while, I realized I wanted to work as a coach again. And I got back to my favorite job. I started working and still work with young people in Panevėžys, and then I received an offer from the federation to become the head of the Lithuanian national team again. coach. I was confirmed with it last November.

– Now let’s get back to Stockholm. Has this race been the most serious test of our strongest swimmer strength so far this year?

– This is one of the most serious international competitions in preparation for the World Cup, which will be held on June 18. will start in Budapest. By the way, due to the difficult situation of COVID-19, the championship was transferred to Hungary from Japan.

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Lithuanian athletes won four medals in Stockholm. She has even won silver awards after returning to the international arena after a long break Ruta Meilutytė.

Rūta won two silver medals in the 50 and 100 m chests. In the longer distance, which she tried in the competition after a long break, it was only nine hundredths of a second to the A standard of the World Cup.

Andrius Šidlauskas won silver in the 100 m breaststroke, and Danas Rapšys added a 200m freestyle race bronze. Tomas Navikonis also sailed in a great 200 m freestyle, improving his personal record in the selection and finals and finishing fifth.

– Maybe we can already announce that Rūta has returned to the Lithuanian national team and will participate in the world championship?

– I think the competition in Stockholm helped her decide. I saw that Ruth enjoyed swimming. In the Lithuanian championship she fulfilled the A standard of the world championship and in the distance of 100 m. In the half-shorter section, she already had the required result before. We invite R. Meilutytė to the Lithuanian national team to participate in the world championship. I talked to her in Klaipeda. I formed the opinion that Ruth was determined to go to Budapest. In Kaunas she works with coach Rasa Duškinienė.

– Is it possible to answer the question exactly how many athletes are now in the Lithuanian swimming adult team?

– There is no national team. We have selected athletes we believe in. These are Danas Rapšys, Andrius Šidlauskas, Kotryna Teterevkova, Simon Bill (unfortunately now treating trauma – aut. note), Deividas MargevičiusTomas Navikonis, Alex SavickasErikas Grigaitis.

A few more of our swimmers are learning and training in the US. It’s freestyle flying Thomas Sungaila, Jacob Keblys, Arijus Pavlidis. They had the opportunity to meet the World Cup standard in the United States. Failed. It is a pity that our “Americans” did not manage to come to the Lithuanian championship due to science.

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– How many Lithuanian swimmers have won tickets to the World Championship?

– Dan, Andrius, Catherine and Ruth. There should definitely be a combined 4 × 100m men’s relay. The final composition will be approved by the federation upon the proposal of the Lithuanian Swimming Federation Coaches Council.

– What places are planned for them in the World Cup?

– First of all, to get to the semi-finals, and who will succeed – to perform as well as possible in the finals.

– By what date is it still possible to meet the standards and guess the World Championship train?

– The time provided by the Lithuanian Swimming Federation is over. FINA allows the regulations to be enforced until May 15th.

– Where will the preparations for the World Cup take place?

– Before the World Cup we will train in the highlands of Sierra Nevada, Spain. A former Kaunas resident, an old friend, an official national team consultant and a world-famous swimming expert will take part in the training process and assist us live. Gennady Sokolov. I keep in touch with him remotely almost every day.

At the moment, G. Sokolov is no longer working with the US swimming team, but is improving the swimming skills of modern US pentathlon athletes and advising national teams from other countries.

– It has been said for many years that there is a great shortage of swimming pools in Lithuania. What do you think the situation is now?

– There are swimming pools in Lithuania – 50 m long in Kaunas, Klaipeda, Alytus, Elektrenai. But we still do not have one in which serious international competitions, such as the European Youth Championships, can be held.

But things should get better soon. An Olympic ten-lane swimming pool is being built under construction in Kaunas, on the Nemunas Island, near the Žalgiris Arena. The grandiose building, which began in the fall of 2020, is likely to be completed in 18 months, as planned. At this pace, the construction of the Vilnius Lazdynai Basin, which has been going on for almost five years, will be significantly overtaken. The dates for the opening ceremonies of the capital’s basin, which have changed several times, have been postponed again from the first quarter of this year. Three-quarters of the work is said to have been done here.

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When there are not enough pools for the best Lithuanian swimmers in the country, they can go to other countries to train. But children are in dire need of them. Demand far exceeds supply. For those who want to not only learn to swim, but also dream of a swim career, there is much more to swimming than training them.

– How is swimming changing?

– Moving forward at a very fast pace. The speeds of athletes are increasing, their age is getting longer. There has been a significant increase in the number of countries whose athletes can advance to the semi-finals and finals of the World Cup. Medals are often determined by hundredths of a second. The management of federations is improving. Swimmers are assisted by doctors, scientists and psychologists.

We encourage coaches to exchange information, we have set up mini-centers so that we can use existing and future training methodologies and talent identification methods.

– Giedrius Titenis, your long-term student, a participant in four Olympic Games, has ended his sports career. Isn’t it going to invite him to the national swimming team coaching staff?

– Giedrius is already working as a coach in Vilnius. We keep in touch with him, we talk. Such people are always needed. That only he would have the desire.

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