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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vojislav Mijic, Marathon Swimming Man In Serbia

Vojislav Mijic (shown on left), the visionary, multi-lingual and personable race director for the Sabac Marathon who doubles as the President of the Serbian Open Water Swimming Committee, provides the background on this FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix event and other open water swims that are going strong in Serbia.

"The Sabac Marathon has been going strong for 41 years. It started in the River Sava in 1970 with a race of 3K along the river's currents. A few years later, the race was extended to 8K, then 14K and then finally 19K over the last 28 years.

Sabac City has been the general sponsor since the beginning and joined the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit over the past seven years. This year, we had 32 swimmers participate from 17 countries.

In Serbia, we now have 12 marathon swims per year. When I first started swimming marathons back in 1973, people told me that I was a very crazy man. But now, everything has changed and marathon swimming is in the Olympics and I am deeply satisfied in my heart

Vojislav has set three individual records in his career. In 1992, he swam 139K along the River Sava in 36 hours and 28 minutes. Then in 1993, he swam 165K in the River Danube in a time of 23 hours and 58 minutes. And in 1994, he swam 175K again in the River Danube over 28 hours and 12 minutes. Besides since third-place finish in the World Professional Marathon Swimming Championships at the 1986 Capri-Napoli race in Italy, V has certainly established his marathon swimming credentials early on. Two years ago, he received a prestigious national award from the Republic of Serbia for his years of service to the sport and his country.

Video of the race can be seen here.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

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