Olympic Dream Becomes A Reality For Velimir
This August saw the world fix it's eyes on London for the greatest show on Earth, the Olympic Games. As countries from all around the globe flocked to the UK for the 2012 Games, Hamilton Aquatics saw one of their own swimmers lining up against the likes of Michael Phelps and Chad Le Clos in the pool competition.
Velimir Stjepanovic competing at his first Olympics for his home nation Serbia, took on the worlds best in the 200m Butterfly and the 4x100 Freestyle Relay and did not disappoint. With Hamilton coach Chris Tidey alongside him as Serbian team coach, Velimir triumphed in the individual event, not just reaching the Semi Finals but making the Finals aswell.
After qualifying for the inaugural event in March 2012, Velimir set his sites on making the Olympic final, a fete he knew would not be easy. On his way through the heats, Velimir posted a time of 1.54.99 beating the great Michael Phelps and posting him 3rd fastest. His time also put him 20th in the WORLD ALL TIME rankings.
His Semi Final would provide an incredibly tough test as some of the big names were likely to step up to the occasion and post faster times than the heats. This didn't worry Velimir has he stormed through the 150m mark in the top 3 and finished with an 8th spot for the final.
To reach the final was an outstanding achievement for an 18 year old who was lining up against vastly experienced swimmers but again he didn't let this deter him. With a crowd of 17,000 people and millions watching around the world, this truly is the pinnacle event for any swimmer. At the 150m mark Velimir turned third and eventually finished two places above his qualification in 6th. Chad Le Clos and Michael Phelps took the two top spots.
Velimir was the the youngest swimmer in the final and now his sites turn to a possible medal in Rio 2016.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported Velimir along the way and we look forward to seeing him training back in Dubai shortly.