When you quit a sport in your 20s, it’s strange to get back into it in your 50s, but that’s what he did GEiEG swimmer Marta Vila, and it’s working out great for him. To the last ones World Masters in Fukuoka took the silver medal in the 3 kilometer +50 (age) test in open water, in addition to two other diplomas for the 8th and 9th place in 400 and 200 meter styles, where it is champion of Spain. As if that wasn’t enough, this season has already hit four records in Cataloniaand this is the first in which he is competing the whole year since his return to the water.
“I am from Llerona (Les Franqueses) and, in fact, there I am on the board of the Granoller Swimming Clubs, but there are no Masters, and that’s why I compete at the GEiEG”, he explains. It’s where she signed up after the pandemic when her partner Minerva Pujol he proposed it to her, and she is “enchanted with life” there, because “it is a very familiar club, where you find things that you cannot find anywhere else, and that in our category it is as if we all defend a color and we go to one ».
This joy is transmitted in excellent results, which recall the swimmer she had been before she left in 1992. “I was going to spend a year in the United States, at the home of a family where my sister had worked as an au pair , and when I came back I forgot about it”, he says. The sacrifice was too much – “crazy, two training sessions a day and one at six in the morning in Barcelona, when I had to catch the train” – and, despite having been champion of Catalonia and Spain, the best thing was to slow down with the Barcelona Games. She was a volunteer there, and since then she has remained connected to the sport in this way, helping whenever she can in all kinds of competitions.
an unexpected silver
Lately, however, she has been the protagonist, and in Japan she won an unexpected silver in the World Open Water Masters after completing 3km in 47’41”, taking four tenths off the third place. The final sprint was the most intense, but, in Marta’s mind, she ended up satisfied in fifth place. That was the end of the first of the two kilometer and a half laps and that’s how I thought it was going.
Grossa was surprised, and even more happy, to find out that it was not. “Héctor, a team mate, told me she was second, and I didn’t believe it, until the photographer appeared and I started to realize that maybe she was”, he recalls. Besides, that was a test where I had no intention of competing. “I had prepared funds and signed up on the bounce, like the Europeans in Rome last year.” Then, she was 14th, and also participated in a secondary way, prioritizing the 200 and 400m styles. With the crawl, which he will enhance having seen that his marks would be worth a fourth place in the world (in 400 and 800m), this is his discipline.
Despite the financial difficulties due to travel (at Masters level, the federations do not help at all, even though being athletes is a good part of their income), Marta looks to the future with the desire to play a good role in the World Swimming Championships in Doha, in February 2024. Before that there will be Spanish, where he will try to revalidate the 200m and 400m freestyle golds and improve on the 400m breaststroke silver and the 200m backstroke bronze, and he still does not know if he will go to the recently announced Europeans in Madeira, in November, but it is clear that, no matter what, he will continue to live a second golden youth.
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