Kobrich shatters paradigms: the chlorine record holder

Kristel Kobrich (Chile, 1985) crosses the mixed zone with a towel around her neck, calm, at the age of 36 (in August she will be 37), five Olympic Games and ten World Cups, a record with the Spain water polo player Felipe Perrone. She just finished fifth in her 1,500m race with a time of 16:13.52. At the time of the conversation, the last race is played, with Katie Ledecky in the lead, but the Chilean is not too worried.

Despite the effort, he speaks serenely and passionately without watching television in front of him. “My secret? It’s hard work, passion, dedication, responsibility, pride, honor, resilience. It’s not just about jumping in the water. There are two jobs, one one from the neck up and one from the neck down. Everyone has a different passion, mine is swimming: it’s still something I love, I’m grateful and I want to represent my country.”released in one fell swoop.

Chilean swimming has no tradition, indeed Kobrich has been training for 19 years, when he began his international adventure in Córdoba (Argentina). “I broke paradigms, I overcame obstacles. Sometimes resources or infrastructure are not everything. Chile doesn’t see beyond the mountain range, and getting out helped me,” he says after a test that took the exhibition again by Katie Ledecky (15:47.02) and which was not able to provide the best performances of young Spanish women: Ángela Martínez (16:38.39) and Paula Otero (16:57.76).

Kobrich has no international medals beyond the Pan American Games, but swimming has offered him the opportunity to compete against the best and experience exciting finals, like the one that awaits him this Monday afternoon in Budapest. It won’t be the first, as it has been in six others, with fourth place at Rome 2009 and Shanghai 2011 being the best results. Years in which she competed with the best Spanish women of the millennium.

Katie Ledecky.

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Katie Ledecky.ATTILA KISBENEDEKAFP

From Villaecija and Belmonte to the Pan American Games

Erika Villaecija was a spectacular person in and out of the water. Mira also. I have a lot of respect for both of them, we encouraged each other and had a lot of cordiality. We are athletes and people. Phelps and Ledecky are extraordinary, but there are also excellent athletes who earn less,” said a swimmer who acknowledges that in her country “few of us maintain high performances. I am engaged and I want to respond.

Kobrich’s performance in the 1,500m and in open water, as she comments, reflects that there are more and more older swimmers in the finals who have beaten time erosion from the age of 30. She never stops taking on new challenges. The most attractive, the 2023 Pan American Games that his country will organize. “It’s something strong. It has helped us grow as a country, in infrastructure and in sport.”, ground. A few minutes later, the official results appear. And Kobrich reaches his seventh final in ten World Cups. The chlorine record woman.

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