The 17th FINA World Championships will see new stars being born, new generations of athletes will rise to the top. However, there are some favourite idols that decided to retire in this post-Olympic year, they shall be greatly missed from Budapest and Balatonfüred in July.
At 15, he was the youngest male Olympian the United States presented in the last 68 years at the Sydney Olympics. Although he did not win any medals in Australia yet, Phelps finished fifth in the final of the 200m butterfly. Still at the age of 15, he also became the youngest male swimmer to break a World Record. Phelps went on to the 2001 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, where he broke his record again, and solidified a tight grip on the 200m butterfly that would not be fully relinquished until his retirement.
Phelps’ most memorable performances are linked to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he earned eight gold medals and broke Mark Spitz's record standing since 1972. Many people still remember the 100m butterfly’s final, where he beat the Serbian Milorad Cavic by literally a fingernail. Next year Phelps once again triumphed over Cavic at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome.
The most successful athlete of all time, announced his final retirement in Rio de Janeiro (after winning the 4x100 freestyle relay). Throughout his incredible career, Michael Phelps won 23 Olympic gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals.
The American superstar holds another record, too: he earned his 13th individual Olympic gold medal by winning the 200m IM at the Rio Games – breaking the record of 12 individual golds held by Leonidas from the ancient Olympics since 164 BC.
Winner of the 2012 London Olympic Games’ marathon swimming event, Hungarian Risztov announced her retirement recently, in February 2017.
‘Yes, this is my final decision. Now, it is time for me to prove in civil life. I always thought that opportunities must be taken advantage of. Two years ago, I started working with TMC company in sports management, we have built many things together since. We would like to improve on many fields, such as communication, marketing and PR.’
Zivko Gocic and Slobodan Nikic
The Serbian men’s national water polo team will arrive to Budapest as defending Olympic and World champions, but two real legends – Zivko Gocic and Slobodan Nikic - will no longer be part of the roster fighting for glory at the 17th FINA World Championships.
Zivko Gocic is a two-time World champion, he won the gold medal in 2009 (Rome) and in 2015 (Kazan). He finished second with the Serbian team in Shanghai in 2011.
Slobodan Nikic won three gold medals (Montreal 2005, Rome 2009 and Kazan 2015), one silver (Shanghai 2011) and one bronze (Barcelona 2003) at the FINA World Championships throughout his career.
Tickets for the 17th FINA World Championships’ events are available here.