Mexico City 2017: Sarah Louise Rung ready to defend world titles

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Norwegian swimmer will be one to look out for at World Championships

Mexico City 2017: Sarah Louise Rung ready to defend world titles

Sarah Louise Rung is a four-time world champion

With four world titles from Glasgow 2015 to defend, Norwegian swimmer Sarah Louise Rung is the woman to beat at the Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships. The 27-year-old does not intend to relinquish her titles just yet.

“Entering a World Championships, I always want to do my very best. I know I will enter the competition with goals of defending my titles as a world champion,” she said.

This year’s championships are held at an altitude of 2,250m above sea level, which might pose a challenge for athletes who cannot acclimatise properly.

“I know I will meet great competition in Mexico City and in the years to come, but I also think of this as a way for me to stay ‘sharp’ and continue to work harder on breaking more barriers in the pool.”

Despite it being her first time competing under such conditions, the S5 swimmer remains optimistic about her chances of clinching gold.

“Luckily, our team and I have great experiences from previous years’ training in areas situated at higher altitude, such as Flagstaff and Sierra Nevada. Therefore, I will know what to expect.”

Rung believes that the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games has been instrumental in her preparation for Mexico City, as well as her growth as an athlete.

“Meeting tough competition, like I did in Rio, shows me that limits can always be pushed further and further. It’s definitely given me more motivation on continuing working hard and to achieve more goals in the pool,” she said.

Rung left Rio 2016 as Norway’s most decorated athlete, having won two of her country’s three gold medals.

But she was prevented from a clean sweep of golds by Spain’s Teresa Perales, who finished ahead of her in the 50m backstroke S5.

Friends as well as rivals

Rio was not the first time the two swimmers have clashed heads. The two shared the gold medal after a dramatic finish at the European Open Championships’ 100m freestyle S5 event last year.

Their rivalry, however, begins and ends in the pool.

“She is a great friend, idol, and a person I admire on many levels. When we are racing against one another in the pool, I know she also means business, and are as determined as I am to race against the gold medals,” said Rung.

“The second we touch the wall to finish, there are hardly any better moments than receiving a hug from such a great friend and rival. We both wish each other the best in every race.”

Rung hopes to reprise her podium finishes at Mexico City, but admits that it will not be easy, especially with ever-improving competitors vying to take her place.

“I know I will meet great competition in Mexico City and in the years to come, but I also think of this as a way for me to stay ‘sharp’ and continue to work harder on breaking more barriers in the pool.”

More information can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.

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