IWSA World Cup participants test water in Minsk

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IWSA World Cup participants test water in Minsk

Hundreds of winter swimmers from all over the world arrived in Minsk on January 17 to plunge into the waters of the Svisloch in Minsk's historical center. The stage of the IWSA World Cup starts on January 18, but one day before that the swimmers already tested the waterway.

To plunge into the Svisloch, some of them overcame thousands of kilometers. Male Elvet - Estonian - is in Minsk with her granddaughter today.

Male Elvet, participant of the III stage of the IWSA World Cup (Estonia):
This is health, this is pleasure. And it's already turned into a habit too.

Marat Mugalaliev, participant of the III stage of the World Cup in winter swimming, IWSA World Cup (Russia):
The main thing is to psychologically prepare yourself, to be ready. When you set yourself up, it's not cold. A very high temperature is created from the inside of the body, 43 degrees. At this temperature all bacteria and even cancer cells die.

For three days the shore of the Svisloch near the Sports Palace has turned into an outdoor pool. 8 tracks have been made in the January water. This is, by the way, is the largest winter artificial reservoir in Belarus. It has been created specifically for the competition.

Rustam Chernookky, diver of rescue station, Komsomolskoye Lake:
It took us four days to cut the ice pool and organize everything. We also installed the separators, so that swimmers can see where they swim under the water.

The task of athletes (most of whom are women, by the way) is to swim 450 meters. This is a length of 18 pools and about 13 minutes in water. The distance is the longest at this stage of the World Cup.

Serafima Tatur, referee of the III stage of IWSA World Cup (Russia):
This is a very long distance. Weather conditions are unpredictable, and the winner, of course, will be unknown until the last moment. There will be a free style, there will be a breaststroke. Judges are all Belarusian, they are incorruptible!

Athletes, unlike in usual swimming, will start in the water, so as not to lose consciousness from the cold.  Please watch the video showing more from winter swimming. Incredible atmosphere. Could you do the same?