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
“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
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