Bulat Salikhov
Russian Federation

Bulat Salikhov

Vladimir Salnikov: "We keep in touch with the Asian Swimming Federation"

Vladimir Salnikov: "We keep in touch with the Asian Swimming Federation"
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During the congress and exhibition event “We are together. Sports”, President of the Russian Swimming Federation Vladimir Salnikov told OSPORT about the future plans of his federation, including a possible move to Asia.

-Are you planning an analogue of the ISL in Russia?

- No, not at this time. This initiative primarily involved top athletes from around the world, and the main goal was to make money. The rest was secondary for the League. And for Russia such a system is uncharacteristic. The organization of League competitions on the territory of Russia is theoretically possible, but conditions are needed to be discussed. But the participation of athletes from different countries is primarily based on their obligations to their federations, clubs and sponsors. In some countries, athletes are more free, and in some countries they are less free from obligations. They say that this format is quite interesting and spectacular from the point of view of the League participants. But the format of classical swimming lives and will live. The International Swimming Federation has now demonstrated that it has reached new frontiers, increased the interest of athletes by increasing the prize fund, which has become very decent. Therefore, it is premature to say that classical swimming has become obsolete.

-There was a precedent when Russian swimmers put more effort into ISL than preparing for domestic starts. Isn't this a problem?

-In fact, priorities, of course, must be chosen. The league does not give a pass to either the
World Swimming Championships or the Olympic Games. It exists by itself and considering the pause it is not clear whether it will continue to exist. I think if these athletes had a choice between getting into the Olympics or playing in the League, they would choose the opportunity to get to the Olympics through selection. There are times when an athlete may be interested in performing simply as an extra workout. Therefore, from this point of view, it is quite logical that during this period it would be interesting for them to compete in competitions held in a different format.

- Many athletes have a question about the lack of water. Is it possible to increase the availability of pools to solve this problem?

-Of course it is possible, but for this the federation is not enough. We are a public organization, we cannot build, for example, 10,000 swimming pools in the country at once. We do have a significant shortcoming in these sports facilities, and we always talk about this. But the construction of these facilities is not in our competence. And for me, as a former athlete, it is absolutely clear that spending 2 hours on the road to the pool is an exhausting phenomenon, especially in public transport and traffic jams.
Therefore, of course, everyone would like universities and youth sports schools to have their own swimming pools, which would be within walking distance. But for now, we live in an environment with the material base that we have.

- Do you have a plan of swimming popularization?

- Yes, we have quite broad promotion plans. We believe that we occupy a significant place in the field of information policy, including our social media accounts, the federation website, the magazine, broadcasts of competitions on television and on the Internet. All this creates a large audience that follows the development of swimming and the results of athletes. We also hold various competitions to increase interest among amateurs, who, for example, will be very pleased to receive an autograph from Kolesnikov or other stars. I believe that in recent years the number of people who follow swimming has increased significantly. 

-Are you planning to move to Asia?

- We continue contacts with the Asian Swimming Federation and the Asian Sports Council regarding the possibility of participating in competitions on the Asian continent. We received a letter confirming that the movement is coming from two directions. However, in the near future we expect certain conditions, which were mentioned.

-What are these conditions?

We don't know now. But when they are received, it will be clear how quickly we can integrate and whether we can at all.


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