An eventful 2024 for Antonio Djakovic

03 April 2024 | Comment(s) |

Livia Zimmermann

Pictures: Patrick B. Kraemer

Groupe Mutuel has been supporting the swimmer Antonio Djakovic since 2020. Antonio is now a professional swimmer and is fully focused on his career. 2024 has many challenges in store for him, whether the World Championships in Doha, the Swiss Championships in Uster or, of course, the Summer Games in Paris. In this interview with Antonio, you will find out more about his goals, his training schedule and his best memories.

Groupe Mutuel: 2024 will be eventful for you, from the World Championships in Doha to the Swiss Championships in Uster and the Summer Games in Paris. What are your goals?

The World Championships in Doha in February were not as successful as I had hoped, as I had a slight cold and therefore did not perform to my full potential.

The Swiss Championships in Uster will be more relaxed because they will take place at home and I'd be very happy with a few Swiss Championship titles.

And the big goal for this season is of course the Summer Games in Paris, for which I have already qualified. It would be great to finish in the top 8, which means qualifying for the finals.

Top-class sport requires tons of commitment. How often do you train each week?

That's right! I recently became a professional swimmer. I train 10 times a week for two hours in the water and five times in the gym for one hour. So in total that’s 25 hours a week training.

Which records can you currently call "yours"? Do you know them by heart?

Of course, I know them by heart! My records are:  200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle long-distance and 200, 400 and 1500m freestyle short-distance. As time goes by, it’s getting more and more difficult to break records, as my times are starting to become part of the world rankings.

What is your track record? And what is your most memorable victory?

My track record consists of European Junior Champion Kazan 2019, participation in the final of the Summer Games 2020 in Tokyo, bronze medal short-distance at the World Championships Doha 2021 and double European Vice Champion in Rome 2022.

My most memorable victory was the second silver medal in the 400m freestyle at the European Championships in Rome. The competition was on the last day and after seven intense days of competition I was able to win a silver medal and become the first Swiss swimmer to win two medals at a championship! That was incredible for me and for many others (my family, my coach and Swiss Aquatics)!

How do you deal with defeat?

I still haven't won a gold medal, so I don't quite know what it feels like to be a big champion (laughs). But I handle defeat with lots of respect and of course I congratulate the winner.

So far it's always been a victory, whether a silver or bronze medal. You can only be happy with these successes because you can see that the hard work has paid off.

What have you learnt through sport that you can now use in everyday life?

Perseverance and stamina! And also something very important: you always have to keep at it, even when life gets very tough, you must never give up!

Your sister Vanna is also a swimmer. Does she motivate you and is there a certain amount of competition between you? Do you give her tips?

My sister Vanna is already on the right track, but still has a lot of potential. I tend to motivate her, as I'm the big brother and have already gained more experience. There's no competition between us, I think it's very cool that we now train together and pursue our goals. It’s almost like a team sport. I give her lots of tips for competitions, not technical tips, but outside of the water I'm always there for her.

Livia Zimmermann

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Livia Zimmermann

Cheffe de projet Communication

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