Zhou Xin, FINA Media Committee Member

Two-time World Cup overall winner Vladimir Morozov of Russia feels fresh competing in the FINA Champions Swim Series 2020, and believes he keeps good shape despite taking three weeks off for Christmas and New Year vacation.

Morozov is satisfied with his performance in the first leg in Shenzhen, as he claimed victory in 50m freestyle (21.70), in front of Kristian Gkolomeev, Michael Andrew and Anthony Ervin. In the 100m free, he was second (49.02) behind his young teammate Andrei Minakov (48.94).

"In Shenzhen, my 50 was good and 100 good as well. I think it was faster than what I did last year in this Champions Series. I took three weeks off and travelled to Mexico for vacation. I then went skiing and just started swimming three or four days before the competition. I feel good now. I think I'm in a good shape because I was racing so much last year in the World Cup, the European Championships and other meets", Morozov said after training this afternoon in Beijing.

Photo by gettyimages

Facing the second leg of the Champions Series, Morozov admits that he likes the venue very much and wants to enjoy the direct final. 

"It is the first time I come to this venue, which is good. I like the space and high roof. The cold weather is not a problem to me. Since the competition will start in the afternoon, we can have dinner early and get more time to sleep. I think most of the swimmers definitely like the direct final because you can focus on yourself. You only swim one or two races a day. So you can just focus on that and have more to prepare and rest. And it's much easier than the usual competition schedule“.

Moreover, Morozov thinks it is good to start racing in early January and prepare for the national qualification for the Olympic Games in April. "It's a good opportunity that we get to race in the Champions Series in January. So I can bounce off from this competition into training and be better prepared for the trials".

Talking about his young teammate and rival Andrei Minakov, Morozov said: "Minakov is 10 years younger than me, but very strong. In fact, he is not the only one. We have three or four competitive young guys like him in Russia. They are stepping up. We'll see who will win the qualification to the Olympic Games. At least, our relay team is very, very strong".

Morozov will compete in Beijing in the same events he did in Shenzhen. "Let's see. I believe I can do better”.