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Ilya DRUZHININ
Sport Open Water Swimming
NOC ROC   
GenderMen
Born23 Apr 1998 in Volgograd, RUS
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
Volgograd, RUS
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
Russian
Higher education
Sport Studies - Volgograd State Academy of Physical Education: Russia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age seven in Volgograd, Russian Federation.
Why this sport?
"My parents took me to a swimming coach, so that I could learn how to swim. At the time, I didn't even think about professional swimming but the coach told my mother that he saw my potential and offered to continue training me."
Club / Team
Ugra Sports Training Centre: Russia
Name of coach
Tatiana Mankevich [personal], RUS
General Interest
Hobbies
Reading books, playing computer games, watching movies, listening to music. (TikTok profile, 26 Dec 2021; Athlete, 15 Sep 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 08 Jan 2022)
Most influential person in career
Coach Tatiana Mankevich. (vpsfund.org, 24 Apr 2016)
Awards and honours
In 2016 he received the title of Master of Sport of International Class in the Russian Federation. (minsport.gov.ru, 09 Nov 2016)
Other sports
He has competed in open water swimming and won bronze in the 5km event at the 2019 Russian national championships. (SportsDeskOnline, 17 May 2021; Athlete, 15 Sep 2020; ugra-aquatics.ru, 16 Aug 2020)
Other information
COACHING
In 2021 he began coaching at a swimming school in Zelenograd, Russian Federation. "Dedicating myself to something greater than myself is what I strive for. Swimming became a routine for me, I stopped enjoying the training process. I'm going to give people what I was missing - the pleasure of the training process. I want to share my experience and energy with my students." (Instagram profile, 13 Nov 2021)

COVID-19 STRUGGLE
He qualified for the Russian Federation team at the 2021 Russian National Championships in Kazan despite being affected physically and mentally by COVID-19 for a six-month period from September 2020 to March 2021. "The pandemic violated all my plans. Physically and mentally, I was ready to compete at the Games in the summer of 2020 and then everything broke off. My health problems started in September and there was a strong emotional decline. For six months I was as sick as I have been during the whole of the last five years. In the last months before the Russian championships, I couldn't reach the level that would allow me to qualify for the Olympics and, due to the fact that I wasn't doing well in training, I began to lose heart. I doubted myself a lot, but my close friends and relatives encouraged me. It was difficult emotionally to get myself together, but it worked out." (ugra-news.ru, 19 Apr 2021; Instagram profile, 15 Apr 2021)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
30 2021 Tokyo, JPN 800m Freestyle 8:01.47
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 1500m Freestyle 14:59.56
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 1500m Freestyle 15:07.93
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 800m Freestyle 7:54.07
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 800m Freestyle 8:00.27
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 1500m Freestyle 15:03.05
European Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2021 Budapest, HUN 1500m Freestyle 15:16.47
Heats 2021 Budapest, HUN 800m Freestyle 8:03.01
11 2018 Glasgow, SCO 1500m Freestyle 15:06.43
15 2018 Glasgow, SCO 800m Freestyle 7:57.54
Heats 2018 Glasgow, SCO 400m Freestyle 3:54.40
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
5 2019 Kazan, RUS 400m Freestyle 3:52.74
1 2019 Kazan, RUS 1500m Freestyle 15:10.73
57 2018   Overall Ranking  
4 2018 Kazan, RUS 400m Freestyle 3:55.57
2 2018 Kazan, RUS 1500m Freestyle 15:34.53
6 2017 Berlin, GER 1500m Freestyle 14:54.15
8 2014 Moscow, RUS 1500m Freestyle 15:38.69