Over the weekend, a new athlete Ali Imaan from the Maldives joined the FINA Development Center swimming team.
The 18-year-old swimmer specializes in freestyle and backstroke.
Due to the difficult epidemiological situation in the world, Ali's arrival was also slightly delayed. But finally, he successfully landed in Kazan and this week will begin the training process with his new big multi-national team and coaches.
Ali told us quite clearly and in detail about what he expects from his stay in Kazan, as well as about the stereotypes about Russia:
«Of course, I, like all people who were packing for a long trip to Russia, was very much afraid of the cold and serious people, but all my stereotypes went away as soon as I landed in Kazan, I was very well and warmly welcomed, local organizers helped to accommodate myself in amazing conditions....
As for my swimming expectations, of course I am determined to work hard, which will improve my timings in the main distances of 50 and 100 meters backstroke. If we talk about a specific time, then the dream is to swim out of one minute on the hundred-meter course.
So far, I haven't been able to talk to any of my teammates; before joining the scholarship program, I only knew Bisma from Pakistan. I am totally sure that I will have a busy and productive summer ahead of me.»
The FINA Development Center scholarship holders has reached a record number of athletes – now there are 27 of us and everyone is focused on serious success.