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Nathan Adrian chimes in from Italy
ROME — Nathan Adrian, a 2006 Bremerton grad who is in Rome competing at the 2009 World Swimming Championships, helped the United States to a first-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a blistering 46.79-second anchor leg that propelled America past Russia and France in the finals July 26.
The 20-year-old University of California at Berkeley student, who is still scheduled to compete in the 50 free and possibly the 400 medley relay, recently caught up with the Bremerton Patriot via e-mail from Rome.
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Describe your emotions during and after the winning 400 relay race.
A: It was a feeling of disbelief, to be honest. All I could hear when I touched the wall were my teammates cheering, and that was the most exciting part.
Q: How has swimming alongside great athletes such as (400 relay teammate) Michael Phelps impacted you in Italy?
A: You have to approach it like you do everything else. If you put too much pressure on yourself or get too nervous, that’s when mistakes happen.
Q: Is there a particular event you hope to win more than any other?
A: Well at this point, I did not qualify for the final in the 100 free. I didn’t have the spark coming home that I typically have in that race. The 50 should be a really fun race to be in at this point, though. I am very excited for that, and to be able to race these guys here.
Q: What have you learned about both yourself and the sport of swimming thus far at the World Championships?
A: I have started to understand what it really means to compete for the U.S. at an international competition. There is so much more on the line than personal pride at this level.
Check back for updates as Adrian continues his run at Worlds.