Bruno Barbic Set To Compete At World Swimming Championships

Oct. 5, 2004

SEATTLE-- Washington men's swimmer Bruno Barbic will compete with the Croatian National Team this week at the World Swimming Championships in Indianapolis at the Conseco Fieldhouse, Oct. 7-11. UW head swimming coach Mickey Wender will accompany Barbic and serve as an assistant coach with the Croatians.

The World Championships will be the most prestigious and largest international swimming event outside of the Olympic Games in 2004. This will be the first time a FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) World Swimming Championship will take place in the United States.

Barbic, a freshman from Zagreb, Croatia, has qualified to swim three events at the meet, including the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle relay. Joining Barbic on the relay team is California swimmer Duje Draganja, Mario Delac and Igor Cerensek. Barbic and Draganja are two of Croatia's up and coming swimmers and are Olympic hopefuls for 2008.

'To represent my country at the World Championships is a big deal,' said Barbic. 'I haven't been able to taper properly but I'm in the best shape of my life. I probably don't have enough speed for my top events but it's still going to be a good meet.'

Barbic is the first swimmer Washington has had compete at the World Championships since Wender took over the reigns of Husky swimming in 1998.

'This should be an amazing experience for Bruno,' said Wender. 'It's great to have the Huskies represented on a world stage. I hope it is the beginning of many UW swimmers representing us at the highest level.'

Barbic will open the meet in the 400 freestyle relay on Thursday, followed by the 100 freestyle on Friday and the 50 freestyle on Sunday. Preliminary races begin at 9:30 a.m. with semifinal and final heats at 7 p.m.

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