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Cristina Tarantino is the new European open water swimming champion in the women's 3km for the 65-69 category.
Tarantino is used to major successes. In the 1970s, as a competitor, she was the Italian record holder in the women’s 100m and 200m backstroke. She is now 65 years old, but has not lost her competitive spirit.
"Today I was completely alone in the race, the second was four minutes behind me, but I pulled. I can't go slowly. I have an attitude where I try to isolate myself and give everything I have. If I win I am happier, but I have also learnt to lose. I always ask a lot to myself. In the end, it becomes a negative element, when you don't win anymore, you feel bad. Instead, it should not be like that,” she said.

There is a special link between life as a professional swimmer and life as a masters swimmer. "In 1974 I stopped with competitive swimming. I resumed with the masters initially in a soft way around 1997 and in 2000 I participated in the first major international competition. The 2000 masters world championships were held in Munich, in the same pool as in the 1972 Olympic Games. I had not been able to participate in 1972 and to swim there, in the same pool as the Olympic Games, was special. It was an opportunity to start swimming again,” she added.

Once she started, Tarantino never stopped. "With the masters it's a whole different spirit. I have discovered so much about this world. There are many former champions, I am in charge of my team. We train with seriousness, commitment, sacrifice, reconciling work and family commitments,” she said.

After finishing the open water swimming competition, Tarantino will return to compete in the Foro Italico swimming pool in the women’s 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle from 28 August.

Photo D. Montano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto Use of photographs is only permitted for publications registered for editorial purposes. Credits must be mentioned.

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