Swimmer Anton Chupkov: Who does not dream about the Olympics?

In an interview young backstroke swimmer Anton Chupkov shared his expectations ahead of the second Youth Olympic Games in China, about his plans to participate in senior-level competitions and, of course, announced his firm intention to perform at the Olympics.

– Anton, you participated in the press conference in Russia Today together with   President of Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, famous athletes Alexander Popov and Maria Kiseleva. Did you feel nervous?

– To be honest, it was my first press conference. I was so nervous that I could hear my heart beat, but the competitions make me even more nervous. Although I have already communicated on camera, and I did well.

– European  Junior Swimming Championships was held from 9 to 13 July in Dordrecht, Netherlands, where you won two team gold medals  and a silver and two bronze individual medals. In summary, how do you evaluate this result?

– Judging by the number of medals, the performance was great, and the results were also good, but I clearly understand that I could have done better. So in general I would call the overall result  of my performance in Holland average. Next year I will participate in the European Junior Championships again.

– This time you competed with senior athletes …

– There were several athletes of my age, but most of them were older, however I did not pay attention to that. It was my first competition of this level.

– The second Youth Olympic Games will start on August 16, in Nanjing, China. We did not have time to relax — and now we have to analyze our mistakes and to get in shape again…

– We returned on Number 14. I  spent two days at home, and on July   17 we came to the Round Lake training center. We have analysed our performance at the European Championships, identified our mistakes. As for the preparation for the Youth Olympic Games, I will definitely have time to get in shape, I’m preparing already.

– Which events will you compete in?

– I will compete at three relays and in several individual distances – 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200 meters is my best event (he laughs).

Have you already set goals for yourself?

– First, I need to improve my own results compared to the European Championships, although it is about time we forget about this competition. I really want win a medal, a gold medal, and I will strive for it. In addition to the team competitions, I will definitely fight for a medal in 200m. A large number of starts will not be a problem.

– Are you worried about the responsibility for the Youth Games result?

– I have not been thinking about it yet, but I guess  I’ll start worrying soon, because the Youth Games will be the major event in my career.

– Have you ever performed in China before?

– No I haven’t, I am living in anticipation of this event. I will search for interesting information on the Internet. First of all I will examine the pool and read about it … And at the end of the competition, I hope to see the city, I think I  will have such an opportunity.

My goal will be to go to the Tokyo Olympic Games

– Do you agree with the fact that there are problems with the breaststroke discipline in Russia?

– I think quite the opposite. We have a lot of competition specifically in breaststroke, and these competitors are young athletes. For example, the winner of the Championships of Russia was born in 1995.

– When are you planning to move to senior level?

– Next year I will try to show senior-level results, and this is absolutely possible. Actually, I am planning to participate in both junior- and senior-level competitions. I have already participated in the Championship of Russia and took seventh place in the final. This was a very good result for me.

– Did you hope to go to the adult European Championships to Berlin?

– Yes, I had such hope, but I realized that it was almost impossible, thus for me it was important to qualify for the European Junior Championships, and most importantly – for the Youth Olympic Games. But next year I will set a goal to go to the World Championships to Kazan.

Which start is the most important for you at the present moment?

– I have already said that it will be competitions in China, and at the present moment I would name the current European Championships. Up until now that was the most important start in my life, and medals from the European Championships are the most valuable for me.

– Which is more pleasant to receive team gold medal, or individual silver medal?

– Of course, gold is much more pleasant to receive. And I would say  that team medals are no different from the individual. For example, we  have just set European adult record in the mixed relay.

– Was there a chance to perform in the relay at the senior level?

– No, this was not possible.

– Does head coach of the Russian national team Anatoly Zhuravlev drawing attention to the junior athletes?

– Head coach  closely monitor  young athletes, we communicate, although  not often. However, he communicates with my coach (Alexander Nemtyrevym) more often, he wishes good luck, asks how my preparations are going, because I train in one group and under the guidance of the same coach with Roza Nasretdinova – a member of the senior national team.

– Do you wish to participate in the Olympic Games? And when will it become possible?

– Of course, I have such dreams, and who doesn’t? It will be very difficult to get to Rio, but there is a chance, and my primary  goal will be the Tokyo Olympic Games. However, I haven’t yet dreamed of climbing to the top of the Olympic podium (he laughs).

– Who is your idol in swimming?

– Alexander Popov is one of my idols. I repeatedly revised his performances. I get  motivated by his example.