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Rousseau hoping for finals berth

2015-08-01 13:32
Sebastien Rousseau (Getty)

Johannesburg – Bolstered by his bronze-medal performances at last year’s Commonwealth Games, Sebastien Rousseau is confident that he will be able to make it into the finals at the FINA World Long Course Championships in Kazan, Russia starting on Sunday.

The United States-based Rousseau will be swimming in the 400m individual medley and the 200m butterfly.

“My goal for both of them is to be in the finals and I believe once you are in the final everyone gets a shot with not much separating the top eight in the world,” Rousseau told Sport24 from Russia.

While Rousseau is no stranger to the international swimming scene he made his breakthrough at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where he won bronze in the 400m IM and the 200m butterfly events.

The 24-year-old has already appeared at two Olympic Games making his debut as a 17-year-old in Beijing in 2008 while he also featured at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011.

“It (Glasgow) was my first international meet where I was on a podium for South Africa and it was really special to me,” Rousseau said about his breakout year.

“I realised that I could go to big meets and perform when you are under that kind of pressure when you have to step up.

“I didn’t race perfectly there but I learned different things about my races and how I need to race it personally and not get sucked into other people’s races.”

Rousseau’s four minute, 16.07 (4:16.07) from the SA National Aquatic Championships in April ranks him 20th in the world in the 400m IM, while his time in the 200m butterfly at the gala is the 21st fastest this year.

He points out that due to coach Gregg Troy’s training methods his times at other meets since the national championships were slower.

“We do a very different style to what most people do, our coach doesn’t really let us wear racing suits when we are not racing at our big meets,” he said.

“I raced with a suit and shaved at our senior nationals and I raced at four different meets between nationals and now and we didn’t wear any racing suits.

“So the times wouldn’t be as good as when it was at nationals but I like the way we do it because you learn new skills and race in different ways.”

Rousseau was satisfied with his preparations ahead of the World Championships after spending most of his time in the United States.

“We had a pretty good training block and pretty good people to train with and I have guys that swim similar races that I do and we are on a similar level,” Rousseau said.

“I train with Daniel Wallace of Scotland, who won the 400m IM at the Commonwealth Games so I always have competition in practice.

“We didn’t really go anywhere but I am really happy with the preparations I had in the States.”

He will start his campaign at the World Championships on Tuesday in the 200m butterfly along with compatriot and defending champion Chad le Clos.

Read more on:    fina world championships

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