Márti Kropkó, 16-year old swimmer of Iron Swim Budapest competed at Aquatlon World Championships and won bronze medal among juniors in Pontevedra, Spain. The race consisted of 1 km open water swimming and 5 km running.
‘This was my first world championships, I competed once at the Europeans, I was the youngest among youth athletes then too’ Márti told. ‘It was a great honor to be in Spain, to live the moment and to stand on the podium at the world championships. It was a huge experience, as if I had been standing there for an hour, but in reality, it lasted only a couple minutes. Though I was a bit sad that the national anthem was not played for me, it was not the Hungarian one, but maybe next time.’
However, not everything went so well as she planned beforehand.
‘I was the youngest, so I got the last start number, 122, and I was the last to choose my starting position. Certainly, the worst was left for me. In the first 500 meters of swimming I had to scrape myself through the field to go forward. In the second half of swimming I could swim my own rhythm, and I got out of the water as third. There were two elite women in front of me, who had already competed at World Cup races. It was awesome that I could keep up with them, thanks to Iron Swim.’
After swimming in the water of 14oC came the running in 28oC.
‘At the beginning of running I felt nauseous, I got well only for the second half. Finally, I finished the race as third among juniors that was a huge honor, since the others were older than me by almost three years. I was a bit surprised that I could swim so well, I did not expect it. I am happy, too, because I can build on it in the future. In triathlon it is very important to get out of the water on top.’
Triathlonist among swimmers and swimmer among triathlonists, Márti told about herself recently.
‘Iron Swim played an important role in my success, even if it did not happen in swimming. In this club they focus on individual swimming techniques very much. If some doesn’t have proper technique, they cannot improve after a certain time. I can also say thank you for tolerating my triathlon career and accepting that I cannot come to every practice or sometimes I am late. It was also a huge help for me that I was allowed to swim in neoprene at some trainings.’
And what did she get or what lessons she learnt from this competition?
‘I have learnt that you must never give up. In the first 500 meters of swimming there was a point when I felt I started to run out of power, and I was still only around 20th place due to the big fight in the field. But it was really just one moment, because I went at it again, I tried to scrape myself forward and finally I could manage to do it. I felt so happy afterwards that I had not given up.’