By Katarina Jonev
Belgrade, Sept. 21, 2009 (Serbia Today) - There are not too many athletes who can boast that they are continuous members of national team, that during his or her career they won more than 200 medals and that have not regretted a single moment for devoting their lives to sport. One of those athletes is Marija Ivezic. She is one of the most talented water jumpers not only in Serbia and our region but also beyond.
-The first time I met with this sport when I was 9 years old. People from the club Cukaricki came to my elementary school and gave a presentation on diving. They did some tests and my results were excellent. Shortly after that, my older brother Marko and I decided to start practicing. He stopped training after a while and I have remained faithful to the jumps in the water - says Marija.
At the age of 10 Marija had her first competition where she won the first place and her first medal. 13 years later, about 150 medals (100 of them gold) could be found in her glass case , which she won in our country. She won 50 medals from the international rally of which twenty are gold. She is a member of the Serbian national team.
-I was in the senior team and the junior team. At the Balkan championships I mainly won first and second places. At the last European Championships in Eindhoven I jumped in the semifinals in the 1m event which is the best result ever in Serbia and I am very proud to be the one who manage to provide that success. I have participated at the World Championships in Barcelona 2003, the World Cup in Athens 2004. then the 2006th World Cup in Chang Shu and was 14th in the 1m springboard event .At the World Cup in Beijing 2008th, qualifying for Beijing, I needed only 5 points, which is very small and I am a bit disappointed. I have participated in many Grand Prix competitions, entering the semi-finals...
The Universiade in Belgrade has encountered fabulous reviews and it is the event that Serbia will long remember. Marija represented Serbia in categories jumps into the water.
- I participated in three of the Universiades - 2005. Izmir, 2007. Bangkok and Belgrade 2009. As regards the Universiade in Belgrade, I am happy. It wouldn't be modest to say that I am not satisfied , but the plans were much more serious. Still, I entered the semifinals in the 3m event and justified expectations ... I had a really great support from the stands, my family, friends and other people. The competition was very hard and had many quality competitors with medals from world, European championships and Olympic Games.
Last year in June, a meeting place for all water sports competitors -Belgrade TAS pool, was closed due to the fall of the roof. Marija was one of the athletes who temporarily lost their place for trainings.
- I didn't have trainings until Kosutnjak swimming pool was renovated and opened 7 days before the Universiade.
Serbian Union for jumping in water did not have money to sent to me somewhere to train, so I went only twice to Croatia and ones to Hungary, so I had a very hard year. Jump into the water as a sport is very hard, both physically and mentally. Marija is an expert in the discipline synchronous rebounds.
-It is much easier to hop in pairs because the responsibility is in some way divided. I do not think only of their errors and the ability to create, but the person with whom the pair jumps. This is one of the most difficult disciplines. Personally I prefer to jump into the pool than in the sea. I do not like to jump from the rocks and I was not too comfortable when I watch all the beach– goers jump and show what they know. It is easier in the pool.
Plans for the future are closely connected with sports.
- I want to continue with trainings and just want to achieve my maximum in time. Nevertheless, all depends on whether we will have somewhere to train. We have no swimming pool and I am just eager for jumps ... If conditions improve and create ( because they were desperate) I plan to train seriously and to dedicate myself even more to jumping and try to qualify for London ... A way of returning to form after the break will be hard, but I'm motivated and I will fight. But if there are no adequate conditions I will not spend more time on it in terms of superior training, but in a form of recreation .Without good condition, it will be hard to insist on improvement of results.
Also my plan is to work with children. I already have a group of kids that I am training and I will try to teach them everything I know about this sport and to make them good competitors one day - said at the end of the interview Marija Ivezic.