Belgrade 2024: European Aquatics General Secretary Zwi praises Serbian Swimming Federation on the eve of the championships

Credit to: European Aquatics

European Aquatics General Secretary Noam Zwi paid tribute to the Serbian Swimming Federation at a press conference on the eve of the European Aquatics Championships Belgrade 2024.

Zwi was joined by European Aquatics Sports director Apostolos Tsagkarakis, Snežana Žugić, President of the Serbian Swimming Federation, Serbia team captain Velimir Stjepanovic and Nemanja Svjetlicic, director of the European Aquatics Championships Belgrade 2024.

The 37th continental championships run from 10-23 June with artistic swimming getting the action underway on Monday at the Sports and Recreational Center Milan Gale Muškatirović

That will be followed by the open water taking place between 12-15 June at Ada Ciganlija.

Diving and swimming run in tandem from 17-23 June at the Serbian Institute of Sports and Sports Medicine and the Sports and Recreational Center Milan Gale Muškatirović respectively.

The meet will serve as a final chance to qualify for Paris 2024 with the qualification period for swimming ending on 23 June, the final day of competition in Belgrade.

General Secretary Zwi paid tribute to the Serbian Swimming Federation who ensured that the event could take place at short notice, having only announced Belgrade as the host in December 2023.

“The European Aquatics Championships is the biggest, and most important, event in the European Aquatics calendar and its timing, a month before the start of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, will make it even more special,” he said.

“I would like to warmly thank our friends at the Serbian Swimming Federation, led by President Snežana Žugić as well as my friend and Vice President of European Aquatics, Vanja Udovicic, for helping to ensure that our flagship event could take place under the best possible conditions, despite having only just over six months of preparation time.

“Now that I am here, I can confirm that the organising team, supported by the European Aquatics office and delegates, have done a fantastic job.”

Zwi also reiterated European Aquatics’ praise for Serbia’s commitment to sport, echoing President Antonio Silva’s sentiments following his visit to Belgrade last month.

“Serbia is a sports-loving country with rich history, but it is becoming increasingly known as a place that also hosts major competitions, across all sports, and this is a tribute to the city and national authorities, who understand the value of sport and are ready to commit to hosting major international events.

“Our President Antonio Silva, who will be arriving later today, was warmly welcomed recently by the President of the Republic Aleksandar Vučić, which shows that the country’s commitment to our sport extends to the highest political level, something that is a source of pride for us.

“Great efforts have been made to ensure that the pools and open water facilities in Belgrade offer athletes a wonderful stage to perform.”

Credit to: European Aquatics

Stjepanovic won the 200/400m freestyle double at the European Championships in Berlin in 2014.

He underlined the spectacle that is about to take place across the Serbian capital and the opportunities it offers to the athletes representing the hosts.

He said: “There will be 31 swimmers from Serbia competing at this competition because I feel like it’s incredibly important to give them a chance to compete at a high level, at senior level, to get a taste of what is to come when they do come of age.

“With a month to go before Olympics it will be a good test to see where we’re all at

“I am just looking forward to doing it in my home country because at the end of the day one of my fondest memories apart from the double European gold in 2014 is in 2011 when I toolk two gold medals at the European Junior Championships, also here in Belgrade.

“I also want to tell all the fans in Serbia if they have the opportunity, absolutely come and watch one of the many things that are going to be going on over the next two weeks.”

Credit to: European Aquatics

Žugić said: “Welcome to my country and my city, Serbia and Belgrade.

“I would like to thank our friends at European Aquatics for giving their best to helping us to organise this competition.

“I would also like to thank my team for their contribution in putting this competition together.

“Usually it takes about a year and a half, two years, but they managed to do it in six months.”

Svjetlicic, explained the medal designs, saying: “Welcome to Belgrade and to Serbia.“We tried to put all five Serbian regions onto the medals which the competitors will receive.“So they can remind themselves of the competition, not forget as soon as it is done.“And to have some insight into our history, culture and sports.”

Credit to: European Aquatics