Simone Ruffini Explains His 25 km World Championship

Interview of Simone Ruffini in Kazan at the 2015 FINA World Championships.

Italy’s Simone Ruffini averaged a 1:10.3 pace per 100 meters in winning the 25 km FINA World Championships this year 4.4 seconds over Alex Meyer of the USA.

Ruffini explained his strategy, “I made my race in the last 1 km because I swam very poorly in the first 10 km as I was fighting stomach problems. I started to feel better around the 17.5 km mark and decided that I could attempt a breakaway. I saw the American (Alex Meyer) and the French (Axel Reymond) swimming together and decided to join them. I played for gold with Alex Meyer.

In the last 50m, I felt very fresh and I was determined to arrive first. I’m happy for the gold medal and even happier that the answer to my marriage proposal to Aurora (Ponsele) was a sign of love from her. This was the best moment of my life. Of course, I am looking forward to the Olympic Games, but today I understand the meaning of my life

Alex Meyer, who finished only 4.4 seconds behind Ruffini in the 4 hour 53 second race, was satisfied with his effort. “I’m happy with my finish and proud to get a medal for the USA and to contribute to the team trophy which we also won today. I’m also very happy for Simone for proposing to his new fiancée. Perhaps if I had won today, he might not have proposed to her, I’m not sure. He and I worked together on the last lap which was very sportsmanlike and professional.

The ups and downs of this race are always a profound experience for me. Today I felt good, then I felt bad. I also felt everything in between and I was going through about all kinds of stuff during the race. I tried to conserve energy and I tried to keep my mind together. The mental battle is half of the effort.

There were some kinks in the plan and times when I had some distress and I felt under pressure. I got pretty far back there at one point, but once I got back up in the lead I was feeling better. There was some great teamwork with me and Ruffini and together we pulled away, guaranteeing a medal for each of us. Obviously I would have liked to pass him on the last lap but I laid it all out.

I was honestly surprised at our lead over the others. I really thought that everyone was much closer, but it was the only Italian and he wasn’t close enough to catch us

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones