Ventura and two former BYU swimmers to compete at FINA World Championships
PROVO, Utah–Luis Ventura, a BYU sophomore, is one of three international swimmers with BYU connections that will compete at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, from July 24-August 9.
Ventura, who competed in seven different events at the National Olympics of Mexico, will be representing his country in the 400 meter freestyle, 1500 meter freestyle and the 400 meter medley. Recent BYU graduates Rafael Alfaro (2010-2015) and Andrew Rutherfurd (2007-2008, 2010-2014) will also be representing the countries of El Salvador and Bolivia, respectively.
As a freshman at BYU, Ventura was named to the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation First Team for his performance in the 500 freestyle. He was also named to the All-MPSF Second Team for performances in the 800 freestyle relay, 400 individual medley and 1650 freestyle.
“We are honored that a BYU athlete is competing in the World Championships,” BYU head swim coach John Brooks said. “It gives us great exposure and helps Luis get some good experience at the international level.”
“I am very excited about having the opportunity to represent my country in such a great event where the best swimmers in the world will be racing,” Ventura said. “I am swimming and representing my country to the best of my abilities. This is a great opportunity to show that all the work that I have put in in the past is yielding results, and those results give me inspiration to keep working towards my future goals.”
To prepare for the World Championships, Ventura, Alfaro and Rutherfurd are all training in specialized facilities around the globe aimed at helping athletes compete to their full potential. Ventura is training daily in his home country of Mexico, while Rutherfurd has been spending extended time in Madrid, Spain, at a specialized training facility for swimmers. Alfaro stayed stateside and has been spending time training for the championships at the University of Southern California.
All three swimmers noted their excitement to represent both their individual countries and BYU as well, while competing against the fastest swimmers in the world.
“It was a unique experience to be on a team and have that particular dynamic in the sport,” Alfaro said. “I enjoyed representing the team and representing BYU as well.”
“At every international competition I swim in, there is a point that I realize that out of all the possible representatives my country could have sent, they confided in me to represent them in this particular event,” Rutherford said. “That realization is very humbling and adds a bit more of the necessary pressure to perform well in every event.”
“What I am most excited about is having the opportunity to represent my country,” Ventura said. “I am excited to compete for my country in such a great event where the best swimmers in the world will be racing.”
Ventura will compete from August 2-9, swimming in the 400 meter freestyle, the 1500 meter freestyle and the 400 meter medley. Rutherfurd will swim in the 100 meter backstroke on August 3 and the 100 meter freestyle on August 5. Alfaro will compete in various events throughout the entire competition. Times, schedules and scores can be found on the FINA website.