Duric targeting return to form in 2015

Slovenian double world champion is aiming to put a poor 2014 behind him to successfully defend his world titles at the swimming Worlds this summer. 24 Mar 2015
Darko Duric

Darko Duric is a world champion swimmer for Slovenia and has become a role model back home.

By Abdullah Mahmood | For the IPC

“With Alen Kramar we work very hard and by results in trainings I am sure we are on the right way. I’m really looking forward to the World Championships.”

Slovenia’s double world champion Darko Duric is targeting a return to form at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, after a disappointing 2014 in the pool.

The S4 swimmer, nicknamed ‘Dare’, is a growing TV personality in his homeland and is a passionate advocate for para-athletes.

However he endured a tough 2014 where he failed to medal against his French rival David Smetanine at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Duric had gone into the Europeans as the world champion in the 50m butterfly and the 100m freestyle S4 from Montreal, Canada, in 2013 and he admits that, while 2014 was a good year away from the pool, failing to medal was tough to take:

“2014 was really terrific for me. I had a lot of obligations in Faculty that I am finishing right now and I was collecting money for new bionic prosthetics, so training wasn't in my first plan therefore results were seen in Eindhoven.

“Before the European Championships I did not expect to medal, but results in my S4 class were very slow so I dreamed it again, but in all three freestyle events I failed and it was really stressful for me.”

Duric, who is doing Business Studies at the Catholic Institute in Slovenia, has set out his stall for 2015 including medalling at Glasgow 2015 between 13-19 July and gaining the Minimum Qualification Standards for Rio 2016.

And with the help of a new coach and a return to familiar surroundings, the 25-year-old is feeling confident for the season ahead, though he knows that getting back to the form he showed in 2013 requires a lot of hard work:

“After the European Championships I moved back to my swimming team in Radovljica and started working with new coach, Alen Kramar. I have a good feeling that this was the right decision.

“In this season I’m confident again. To be one of the best swimmers in the world again I have to train much more. I have to improve my stroke, start and turns. Actually, everything.

“With Alen Kramar we work very hard and by results in trainings I am sure we are on the right way. I’m really looking forward to the World Championships.”

While the S4 class may not have the household names that other classes do, it is still one of the most competitive. The likes of Smetanine, Mexico’s Gustavo Sanchez and the Netherlands’ Michael Schoenmaker are all Paralympic gold medallists.

Duric is ready for “a lot of interesting races with very close results” at Glasgow 2015 this summer.

Glasgow 2015 is expected to attract around 650 swimmers from 50 countries in the biggest international competition before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015 and are priced at GBP 10/15 for heats/finals. Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult. Terms and conditions apply.