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Velimir STJEPANOVIC
Sport Swimming
NOC Serbia   
GenderMen
Born07 Aug 1993 in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Height1.82 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Family
Partner Zorana
Residence
Belgrade, SRB
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Serbian
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He joined Hamilton Aquatics at age six in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Why this sport?
He took up swimming for fitness.
Club / Team
PK Partizan: Belgrade, SRB
Name of coach
Igor Beretic [national], SRB; Sebastijan Higl [personal], SRB
Training Regime
He swims between 55 and 65 kilometres a week in training.
General Interest
Nicknames
Velja (zurnal.rs, 19 Jul 2019)
Hobbies
Cooking, watching movies, playing video games. (SwimSwam Podcast, 17 Apr 2021; Facebook page, 07 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. (sport.blic.rs, 01 Mar 2016)
Injuries
In late 2012 he started to struggle with a back injury, which caused him to focus on freestyle instead of butterfly. (novosti.rs, 02 Apr 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"You have to work hard for everything that you do in your life." (sport.blic.rs, 01 Mar 2016)
Awards and honours
In 2010 he was named Most Successful Young Athlete by the Serbian Olympic Committee. (oks.org.rs, 17 Dec 2010)
Ambitions
To win medals at the Olympic Games and world championships. (rts.rs, 14 Mar 2019)
Other information
MOVE TO BELGRADE
In 2017 he moved from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Belgrade, Serbia, to train under the guidance of coach Sebastijan Higl. "He was from Serbia, so it was logical for me to come here and train. I knew that I would have pool time and it just made sense. Sebastijan is a very good coach. He's very technique driven, so for me, who's not that big, doesn't have big feet, and is 182 centimetres tall, I need my technique to be perfect and he's very detail orientated in that sense. It's much more of a relaxed approach and I think that helped me get back on track to what I wanted to achieve. We butt heads sometimes, but no athlete and coach can say that they haven't argued at least once." (SwimSwam Podcast, 17 Apr 2021)

REPRESENTING SERBIA
He was born in the United Arab Emirates after his parents moved there from Yugoslavia for work in the late 1980s. He decided to represent Serbia at international level, having also had offers to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Great Britain. "It was a natural choice for me. I am Serbian and am very patriotic about my country, I've always loved it so there was never a doubt about which country I'd represent. Serbia is also more developed when it comes to swimming, especially due to Milorad Cavic's results over the past years swimming has become very popular in Serbia." (SwimSwam Podcast, 17 Apr 2021; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 11 Jan 2016; b92.net, 16 Aug 2012)

INSPIRING YOUNG ATHLETES
He likes to give the medals he wins to young swimmers. "All my medals, except the most important, I give to kids, because I see that it means a lot to them. I want to cheer them up, but also motivate them to continue their training." (sport.blic.rs, 26 Feb 2016)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
16 2021 Tokyo, JPN 200m Freestyle 1:47.62
Heats 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 100m Freestyle 49.24
Semifinal 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 200m Freestyle 1:47.28
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 400m Freestyle 3:46.78
6 2012 London, ENG 200m Butterfly 1:55.07 
Heats 2012 London, ENG 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2022 Budapest, HUN 200m Freestyle 1:47.94
26 2022 Budapest, HUN 200m Butterfly 1:59.44
8 2022 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:13.83
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 200m Butterfly 1:57.15
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 200m Freestyle 1:47.40
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 100m Freestyle 49.44
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay  
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
Semifinal 2017 Budapest, HUN 200m Freestyle 1:46.82
Semifinal 2017 Budapest, HUN 100m Freestyle 48.66
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:18.68
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 400m Freestyle 3:49.49
Semifinal 2015 Kazan, RUS 200m Freestyle 1:47.55
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 100m Freestyle 50.07
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:20.29
Semifinal 2013 Barcelona, ESP 200m Butterfly 1:56.60
Heats 2013 Barcelona, ESP 400m Freestyle 3:51.90
Semifinal 2013 Barcelona, ESP 200m Freestyle 1:47.53
Heat 2011 Shanghai, CHN 200m Butterfly 1:57.40
Heat 2011 Shanghai, CHN 400m Freestyle 3:54.87
Heat 2011 Shanghai, CHN 100m Freestyle 50.14
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2021 Abu Dhabi, UAE 400m Freestyle 3:43.58
Heats 2021 Abu Dhabi, UAE 200m Freestyle 1:43.97
Heats 2021 Abu Dhabi, UAE 100m Freestyle 47.51
Heats 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 200m Freestyle 1:43.40
Heats 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 400m Freestyle 3:44.16
Heats 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 100m Freestyle 47.57
6 2014 Doha, QAT 200m Freestyle 1:42.48
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 200m Butterfly 1:54.63
3 2014 Doha, QAT 400m Freestyle 3:38.17
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 200m Butterfly 1:55.41
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 200m Freestyle 1:45.60
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 200m Butterfly 1:57.18
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 400m Freestyle 3:48.56
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 100m Butterfly 53.09
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 50m Freestyle 22.29
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 100m Freestyle 48.77
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 50m Butterfly 24.56
European Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
7 2021 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:28.35
8 2021 Budapest, HUN 200m Freestyle 1:47.66
Heats 2021 Budapest, HUN 100m Freestyle 49.05
Heats 2021 Budapest, HUN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay  
7 2021 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:13.73
7 2018 Glasgow, SCO 200m Freestyle 1:47.00
Semifinal 2018 Glasgow, SCO 100m Freestyle 48.93
8 2018 Glasgow, SCO 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:15.16
2 2016 London, ENG 200m Freestyle 1:46.26
6 2016 London, ENG 100m Freestyle 48.72
6 2016 London, ENG 400m Freestyle 3:47.48
Heats 2016 London, ENG 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay  
Heats 2014 Berlin, GER 200m Butterfly 1:58.60
1 2014 Berlin, GER 400m Freestyle 3:45.66
1 2014 Berlin, GER 200m Freestyle 1:45.78
5 2012 Debrecen, HUN 200m Butterfly 1:57.06
Heats 2012 Debrecen, HUN 400m Freestyle 3:58.10
7 2012 Debrecen, HUN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:20.20
Heats 2012 Debrecen, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:21.93
European Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2013 Herning, DEN 200m Butterfly 1:51.27
3 2013 Herning, DEN 400m Freestyle 3:40.91
5 2013 Herning, DEN 200m Freestyle 1:44.02
Heats 2013 Herning, DEN 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 1:28.37
40 2011 Szczecin, POL 200m Freestyle 1:47.88
30 2011 Szczecin, POL 100m Freestyle 48.99
23 2011 Szczecin, POL 400m Freestyle 3:47.38
5 2011 Szczecin, POL 200m Butterfly 1:52.09
9 2011 Szczecin, POL 4 x 50m Medley Relay 1:36.73
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
36 2018   Overall Ranking  
5 2018 Budapest, HUN 200m Freestyle 1:43.90
2 2018 Singapore, SGP 400m Freestyle 3:41.52
3 2018 Singapore, SGP 200m Freestyle 1:43.32
  2016 Berlin, GER 400m Freestyle  DNS
  2016 Berlin, GER 1500m Freestyle  DNS
12 2014   Overall  
12 2014   Overall  
5 2014 Beijing, CHN 400m Freestyle 3:44.02
4 2014 Beijing, CHN 200m Freestyle 1:45.07
2 2014 Doha, QAT 400m Freestyle 3:40.46
2 2014 Doha, QAT 1500m Freestyle 14:50.92
2 2014 Doha, QAT 200m Freestyle 1:44.01
2 2014 Dubai, UAE 400m Freestyle 3:38.32
2 2014 Dubai, UAE 200m Freestyle 1:42.88
3 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 200m Butterfly 1:55.69
6 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 400m Freestyle 3:59.09
4 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 1500m Freestyle 15:05.52
2 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 200m Freestyle 1:45.44
3 2014 Moscow, RUS 400m Freestyle 3:43.06
2 2014 Moscow, RUS 200m Freestyle 1:43.92
2 2014 Moscow, RUS 200m Backstroke 1:55.84
5 2014 Singapore, SGP 100m Freestyle 48.49
3 2014 Singapore, SGP 200m Butterfly 1:55.85
5 2014 Singapore, SGP 200m Freestyle 1:44.27
6 2014 Tokyo, JPN 200m Freestyle 1:45.47
6 2013 Dubai, UAE 200m Butterfly 1:56.62
3 2012 Dubai, UAE 200m Butterfly 1:56.18
8 2012 Dubai, UAE 400m Freestyle 4:06.18
5 2012 Dubai, UAE 1500m Freestyle 15:27.13
5 2012 Dubai, UAE 100m Butterfly 53.69
2 2011 Moscow, RUS 1500m Freestyle 15:06.83