“Kazan has become a second home for our athletes”

The day before the II stage “Solidarity Games” swimming competitions commenced, the media scrum was arranged featuring the tournament organisers and guests. Journalists had a chance to ask the questions to the President of the Russian Swimming Federation Vladimir Salnikov, Tatarstan Minister of Sport Vladimir Leonov, Secretary General of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation Sani Mohammed, and Treasurer of the Ghana Swimming Association, Member of the FINA Reform Committee Ayishatu Farida Iddriss.

“This stage has gathered together over 1,000 participants, among which 99% are the Russian national team athletes. I am assured they are well motivated. We are interested in mixing these two events – Russian Championships and “Solidarity Games”, as the first stage was very illustrative in terms of merging them into one. Festive atmosphere is complementing them. We are expecting good results, good mood, and will move forward,” Vladimir Salnikov told.

Tatarstan Minister of Sport Vladimir Leonov highlighted the large scale of the competitions held in Kazan.

“Twenty-two countries will be represented in Kazan, which is an outstanding number for a new project launched this year. We see enthusiasm after the first stage that brought together 16 countries, while in December for the coming stage 30 countries may be expected. We are in direct contact with the federations, that may already be considered as the success of the project. First pancake isn’t lumpy at all. The audience is extremely excited!” Vladimir Leonov pointed out.

Sani Mohammed and Ayishatu Farida Iddriss emphasised the contribution of Russia and Tatarstan in the progress of athletes from Nigeria and Ghana.

“We hope that “Solidarity Games” will open up the door back to the Russian athletes to normal life, where they could compete as before. I’d like to support Russia and want the Russian athletes to get back to the international arena to take part in various competitions, and the whole world to welcome them. Many thanks to the Games leadership and everyone involved in the organisation of the event. Huge work has been done.

These competitions are very important for our athletes. They help them get competition practice, which they have been missing lately. They can swim alongside the Russian athletes, learn from them, and increase their motivation. We see progress in the performance of Nigerian athletes and we are grateful for the help Russia is providing us,” Sani Mohammed said.

“Kazan is like a second home for our athletes. We are very glad to come back here. Kazan will become a good platform for developing skills among our athletes, here they can rectify the mistakes before the important starts. Two months ago, for the first time in the history of Ghana, a swimming champion won a gold medal at the African Championships. We are extremely happy. This is all thanks to the Kazan FINA Development Centre!” Ayishatu Farida Iddriss emphasised.

Swimming competitions within the II stage “Solidarity Games” will last until 25 November.