Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova commented on her unexpected loss to 16-year-old prodigy Evgenia Chikunova, which she defeated in the women’s 100m breaststroke final among Russian citizens.
The three-time Olympic medalist preparing for the upcoming Tokyo Games is excited to have the next generation of swimmers on her tail, which means there will be a good replacement on the team after she retires.
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The 29-year-old, who has competed in three Olympics, has never shown extreme speed in local competitions and has preferred to excel in major sporting events such as World Cups and Summer Games.
The swimmer came to Russia to compete in the national selection and to secure a place in the Olympic squad.
“I didn’t tell anyone, but at first I didn’t want to take part in the Russian championship,” said Efimova.
“Because I was sure that my physical condition would not allow me to perform properly.”
“But I managed to improve the results [over] Three months so I think I’ll be in good shape in a few months, ”she added.
Talking about her rivalry with young star Chikunova, the swimmer expressed hope that the promising athlete could become “the second Efimova” in terms of results achieved during her swimming career.
“It’s great that we have competition on the team, especially when it’s time for me to retire. This means we have a good replacement. I hope that Chikunova will be the second or even better Efimova, ”said the six-time world champion.