Rus News Journal

The longest sprint

The decision to leave sports was confirmed yesterday with Alexander Popov - the quadruple Olympic champion, maybe, greatest of sprinters in the history of swimming.
speak, Alexander Popov declared that finishes career, still one and a half weeks ago - in Sankt - Moritz at a stage bobslejnogo a World Cup where has arrived as the visitor of hour company Omega. Anyway for this decision from the great swimmer waited. Probably - from the Athenian Olympic Games on which it, the standard-bearer of Russian national team, has not got to final heats on both sprint distances. But he did not hurry up, probably estimating, whether is capable to make one more sports miracle.

to that Alexander Popov - the especial sportsman capable of improbable things, all after all have got used for a long time already. On the Barcelonian Olympic Games of 1992 it, 20 - the summer swimmer, has twice beaten the outstanding American Matt Biondi seeming to the invincible. Before following Games the new leader of swimming of the USA Gary the Hall swore Atlanta that at least one gold medal from the Russian leader will take away. As a result of Priests has confidently won and 100 - metrovku, and 50 - metrovku. Then, right after Atlanta, there was a gangster attack which has ended with the knife wound which could cost to Alexander Popovu not only open-cast mines, but also lives. It has consulted and with it, having managed to return and again to become the fastest in the world...

when on the Sydney Olympic Games of Priests at last has lost (in Australia to it one medal has got only - silver on a distance of 100 metres), conversations that time of the phenomenal Russian has left for the first time have gone. To it was already 29, and on a threshold 30 - letija from sprinters in the history of swimming it was not possible to anybody to keep allowing to win in the World championships the form. But it has again proved that its trainer Gennady Turetsky was right, when once named the pupil the unique sportsman not keeping within the standard frameworks - as it was expressed, presented excessively . Performance of Popova in the Barcelonian World championship of 2003 has made shock effect. It has won three gold medals: two - in individual competitions, having left far behind of all younger contenders - Peter van den Hogenbanda, Iana Torpa, one - in relay race. And after that already nobody doubted that in Athenes Priests will be the main favourite.

dreams could not come true. After meditations lasting half a year Alexander Popov nevertheless has decided that its time has left. But only as the swimmer because in sports at it, the quadruple Olympic champion, the sixfold world champion, tenfold - Europe and for the present the owner of a world record - 21,64 - on 50 - metrovke, works still will suffice. Alexander Popov after all a member of the International Olympic committee and the vice-president of the Russian Federation of swimming.