Zug/Baar, 09.06.2021

Aurel Achleitner still has a hurdle to overcome

The Zug athlete, who is a member of SV Baar, will compete in the Open Water qualification competition in mid-June.

Aurel Achleitner is pursuing a major goal in the current season: the Junior European Championships in Open Water in Paris at the end of July. The 14-year-old, who lives in the city of Zug and attends the Cantonal School, is a member of the Baar swimming club SV Baar, as well as being a member of the regional squad of Swiss Aquatics. He needs to prove himself next week in a final selection competition over five kilometres in Piombino, Italy. If he can make it into the top 16 and remain less than a minute behind the winner, he will have fulfilled the qualification guidelines for the U15 category. In the end, however, the decision on selection will be made by the Swiss Association.

Aurel Achleitner is in good form
Stefan Kaiser

Thanks to the recent successes, Aurel Achleitner radiates confidence. At the Swiss Championships in Uster in April, as one of the youngest participants, he produced a surprise by achieving two top-ten finishes over 800 and 1,500 metres crawl. In addition, the Zug athlete finished second in his age group at the Swiss Endurance Championship over five kilometres in Bellinzona in mid-May. The winner is one year older than him.

Expert's assessment
A large part of his recent successes have been due to the coaches Tobias Gross (head coach SV Baar) and Micky Tronczik (freelance swimming coach), who are a great support for him in the area of leadership and trust. "He can be a real rascal, but is also very aware of his duties, and is focused and serious when it comes to his goals," says Gross, who is also the SRF's TV expert for swimming.

He believes Aurel Achleitner will perform well at the selection competition in Italy. "Long distances are his strength. He's a fighter and has incredible racing toughness." Tobias Gross explains that many factors play a role during the course of the race in Open Water competitions: for example, water temperature, waves, wind and dynamics. "If Aurel can travel to the European Championships, that would be a highlight for him, as well as for SV Baar," says Gross and explains: "It would once again be an opportunity for a swimmer from the club to be able to present himself on the international stage.