Grand Prix

“Swallows” Command Special Interest


The 19th Winter Olympics (2002) in Salt Lake City stimulated interest in the number of medals won by national teams and in matters related to impartiality of umpires. From this point of view there are kinds of sport which arouse particular interest. One of these is diving which can earn up to 16 medals for the national team at an Olympic tournament.

It is hard to foretell the results of our divers’ performance at the summer Olympics to be held in two years. But, judging by the traditional international competitions of the Grand Prix “The Spring Swallows” series, based on the Olympic program, preparations for them are quite serious and intentions are most ambitious. In any case, the chief coach of the national team of Russia Alexei Evangulov was pleased with his charges’ performance in the Olimpiisky Sports Complex in Moscow. Just like their main rivals, the Chinese athletes, they won three events out of eight. Particularly successful were Dmitry Sautin (springboard, 3 m), Vera Ilyina (springboard, 3m), as well as Svetlana Timoshinina and Yevgenia Olshevskaya (platform synchro).

The season’s start is promising, and now the task set by the coach is for the team to show stable good results. As for sports officials, Alexei Evangulov expects that they will provide a stable financial support for this sport. After all, diving does not require special expenditures, whereas a “feed-back” in terms of medals may prove to be very impressive. “All we need for competitions is swimming trunks and a toothbrush,” jokes the coach.

As for the umpires’ panel, Alexei Evangulov told journalists: “Our refereeing ethics are very high. There are no quarrels or scandals. No fears to lose because of the umpires in our sport. We take pride in our umpires. All this is explained by the fact that ours is a close-knit family.”

Indeed, other sports have something to learn from the diving sport.