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Some of the best swimmers in Russia gathered last week for the Salnikov Cup in St. Petersburg. The two day event brought together hundreds of competitors from around the world. Our correspondents take us there.
350 competitors from 15 countries.
These men gathered at the 2010 Salnikov Cup international swimming competition at the end of December in St. Petersburg.
Domestic and world swimming champions were at the two-day event.
Among them, Paul Korzhenevski, who is a European swimming champion, is competing in the Salnikov Cup for the first time.
Fatigue didn't stop him from winning the 200 meter butterfly race on the first day of the competition.
[Paul Korzhenevskii, Polish Swimmer]:
"My shape is going down. It is not very good time, but I'm happy, I'm OK. "
To strive for prizes at the end of the season is not easy, but the Russian sportsmen are happy to take this challenge.
Tournament organizers believe that the competition is not just about swimming from wall to wall. They want it to be a festive atmosphere with music and entertainment.
[Vladimir Salnikov, President, All-Russian Swimming Federation]:
"We constantly try to keep the audience in a state of tension for all the two hour finals. I think for sure that there won't apathetic people in the stands."
Many former swimmers were in the audience.
[Elena Timoshkina, Spectator]:
"I would like to participate and feel this drift of adrenaline when you go to start, look at the track, jump into the water and everything is turning inside you."
15-year-old Russian swimmer Andrei Maslov won the best young sportsman award.
Russian Nikita Lobintsov and Belarusian Aleksandra Gerasimenya earned the most points in the tournament and took home the "Silver Shark" prize.
NTD News, St. Petersburg, Russia.