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Yulia Efimova is eager to go to the Paris Olympics against all odds. She still has a real chance!

Date: July 17, 2024 Time: 16:22:06

“My main dream in my career is an Olympic gold medal. I think it may still exist. You just have to have a lot of desire and work hard,” said Yulia Efimova in November 2023 at the Russian Short Course Championships.

Back then, few would have thought that the most titled Russian swimmer could at least try to make her dream come true, since Russian athletes found it difficult to reach any international competition and could only dream of the Olympic Games. . But on June 14, Efimova received neutral status and showed that she was still eager to participate in the Games. Now Yulia is trying to get a ticket to Paris in the last days of the national team.

And if the Russian gets it, it will be a super story!

“The International Federation supports me”

Efimova has been saying for some time that she wants to compete in the Olympic Games. She tried to find a way, even though the Russian Swimming Federation (RSF) was not recommending swimmers attend the Games.

On June 14, Julia took the right step towards her dream. She was the first swimmer to receive neutral status. The federation reacted neutrally to this.

“Today, except for Yulia Efimova, there is not a single person (in swimming) who has received neutral status. My attitude is that everyone makes a decision independently according to their vision of life, depending on the circumstances. It is her decision and no one condemns her or puts pressure on her,” VFTU president Vladimir Salnikov told RIA Novosti.

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It seemed that this was a minor matter – meeting the Olympic standard, but it turned out that not everything was so simple. Qualification for the Games ends on June 23 and most tournaments are held in Europe, where Yulia does not have a visa.

“The big problem is that I am not up to date with the international team. They all end on June 23; They happened or will happen next week. My plans were to compete with the club in a tournament in Italy. But they finally denied me access.

Visas are a different story. He was ready to leave for Nizhny Novgorod, there they found the opportunity to make Schengen. A single window appeared. But the Italians sent me a refusal and I did not go to present the documents.

Most importantly, the International Federation (World Aquatics) quickly reviewed my application and supported me to compete in the Olympic Games. But there is no visa for Europe and no admission for international qualification, and it’s all over. Apparently we should have gone to Asia, it’s easy to get a visa there and they treat us well there. But that’s where the competition ended. And now all the deadlines are running out before my eyes and I don’t know what to do,” Efimova admitted to Match TV.

However, even in such conditions, the champion did not give up and found a way out. Julia traveled to the Bahamas, where the qualifiers will be held June 20-23.

Yulia Efimova

Photo: RIA Novosti

“Now I am coming to my senses.”

To get to the Olympic Games, Efimova has two paths. The first is to reach the Olympic standard (2:23.91 in the 200m breaststroke and 1:06.79 in the 100m) and earn the quota immediately. The second is to meet the qualification standard (1:07.12 in the 100 meters and 2:24.63 in the 200 meters) and wait for an invitation if the 852 places at the Games are not occupied. However, World Aquatics has already warned everyone that obtaining quotas for the Games through the second route will be much more complicated.

But Julia’s best results this season are below standards. In 100 m she achieved her best time in April at the Russian Championships in Kazan with 1:07.43, and in 200 m with 2:26.45. With each outing, Efimova improved noticeably, but a two-year break greatly affected her form.

Many Russian swimmers did not want to attend the Games. Although they had a chance:

Olympic lagoon. Russian swimmers have excellent chances of qualifying for the 2024 Games

After the Chechen championship in the capital of Tatarstan, the swimmer admitted that she was not in her best shape.

“I haven’t even started preparing for the Olympic standard yet. It was two months of preparation for the short course, two months for the long course. I swam in a backyard pool in Hawaii without a coach to simply write exercises for me. I no longer need to be there watching, I do everything myself to the fullest, but the coach factor is still important. I also sprained my leg in Hawaii, couldn’t swim breaststroke and could barely walk. Then I got sick and had a fever on my birthday. I just recovered and… sinusitis. I just started walking away. Many people noticed and asked, “What’s wrong with you?” I am usually very charged with energy. “Now I am coming to my senses.”

Therefore, it will be difficult for Yulia to be in the Bahamas tournament. We can only hope that Efimova improves, that the adrenaline and emotions rise and that a miracle occurs.

“I don’t know what I expected at all.”

Unfortunately, the selection in Bahamas did not start as well for Efimova as we would like. At 200 m, Yulia did not meet the standards.

“I swam disgustingly, in 2.29. I don’t know what I expected at all. I understood with my head, I believed with my heart. I expected to show up between 2:25 and 2:26 at least after a 25 hour flight.

On Tuesday night it was decided that I would go to the Bahamas after all, because there was no other opportunity to qualify for the Olympics and I was invited to this tournament. I flew all day Wednesday and immediately competed in the 200m breaststroke on Thursday. And you can imagine my condition. In principle, such a result could be expected. An agent friend even advised him: “Treat it in such a way that you are flying on vacation and suddenly, fortunately, there are competitions where you can qualify for the Olympic Games.”

There are specific features for swimming in an outdoor pool in the Bahamas, where the water is very warm. But it is good that the 50 and 100 m breaststroke starts have preliminary heats. And at 200 m there was a final immediately. In the morning I asked to swim in the free outer lane, where the girls swam “one and a half times.” And I swam alongside them, so that at least something would happen. Well, imagine, I arrived at night and the next day, 200 m breaststroke. I’ve never had anything like this before. Well, okay, fifty dollars to blend it out a little!

It is important that the Olympic distance 100 m breaststroke is on the last day, June 23. I really hope I can acclimatize at least a little and try my luck. In general, you just have to enjoy the moment. The atmosphere is fantastic, everyone is very friendly and I am happy to be able to swim in international competitions and try to qualify for my fifth Olympic Games,” Efimova explained to Match TV.

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Now Efimova’s only chance to make it to the Olympics is the 100m breaststroke. Swimming will take place on June 23, exactly the last day of selection for the Games. If Yulia manages to meet the standard and get a quota for the Olympic Games, then it will be an extremely beautiful story and the swimmer will become a heroine. But even if not everything goes in the Russian’s favor, Efimova should be praised for the courage and determination with which she pursued her cherished dream.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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