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After his nerve-wracking appearances at the World Championships in Budapest, Austria’s swimming star Felix Auböck will first slip into the role of a fan.

“I’ll stay there until the end, cheer for the team. They did that for me and I will do that for them too,” said the short-track world champion after his last race in the title fights in the Duna Arena on Monday. At the weekend, the Bad Vöslauer will finally be going back home after a long absence.

“It’s so important that I come home because I’m away all year,” said Auböck, who studies in Loughborough, England, and is about to graduate with a master’s degree.

longing for grandparents

The 25-year-old misses grandma and grandpa in particular enormously: “Then I can see my grandparents. It’s difficult when you live somewhere else, because you know very well that they are already old and you don’t see them that way anymore seen often.”

That’s why he’s really looking forward to the days at home. “Unfortunately, you can’t make up for the time, but you can use it as well as possible.”

The Lower Austrian will spend a week with his family, then the full focus will be on the European Championships in Rome in mid-August. During the preparation, the focus should be on mental recovery.

Auböck: WM cost lifetime

The World Cup robbed “so much strength” and “certainly took two years” from his life, he said and laughed. In any case, the competition classification with so many crawl competitions in a row was “stupid”.

At the European Championship, however, Auböck will not try to achieve something under duress. Rather, he received confirmation at the title fights in the Hungarian capital that he is one of the absolute world leaders in a world sport.

“I needed this competition to show myself that I can be up front in the 200 m freestyle,” he said after finishing fifth in the final, where again just a tiny 13-hundredths of a second shy of bronze.

Aubock still satisfied

Nevertheless, Auböck drew a more than satisfied balance, especially since he clearly undercut his Austrian records over his parade distance 400 m crawl and the shorter distance. Where is there still room for improvement?

“For me it has nothing to do with stamina. My speed lags behind a bit,” he explained, emphasizing: “The better the 200 m, the better the 400 m.” He also buried his ambitions about the long distance over 1,500 m, in the future he will concentrate fully on the 200, 400 and 800 m.

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!