By Rokur Jakupsstovu of Swimmer's Daily
VAGUR, Faroe Islands, November 17. NEXT week, tiny Faroe Islands will have not one but two swimmers training specifically for the London 2012 Olympics, when Russia's Anastasia Aksenova joins Pal Joensen at his club Suduroyar Svimjifelag in Vagur, under the coaching of Jon Bjarnason. A trial period at first that potentially will be extended up until the London Olympics
Aksenova is the Russian record holder in the 100 meter short course freestyle, managing a 53.20 at the European Short Course Championships in Rijeka 2008. She is an Olympian from Beijing 2008, finalist from the women's 4×100 medley relay, who among other events also represented Russia at the Rome 2009 World Championships, and at the European Short Course Championships in Istanbul 2009. She managed to win silver at the Russian National Cup in Volograd in October, with a time of 25.38 in the 50 meter short course freestyle (25.19 in the semi-final).
Bjarnason, head coach of Suduroyar Svimjifelag, says that this will have a major impact on Faroese swimming on the shorter distances. For instance, young Gudrun Mortensen now have a formidable training partner in the pool. Mortensen, 14, herself holds the Faroese 50 meter short course freestyle record of 26.37, from a meet in Torshavn, Faroe Islands this September.
Aksenova will arrive on the Faroe Islands this Monday evening, to try out practice at Vagur for a shorter period of time. If it works out well, she will train with Joensen and the rest of the Faroese in Vagur up until the London 2012 Olympics.