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Lincoln Coach is a winner at the World Aquatic Championship in Japan

 

Leonardo Bastiani, swimming coordinator at our school, came 3rd place in open water and 8th in the world ranking in Fukuoka, Japan 2023. Learn more about the experience of our champion! 


 

At Lincoln, educators teach resilience and try to act as an example. This is what Leonardo Bastiani, swimming coordinator at our school, did when he flew to Fukuoka, Japan, to participate in the World Aquatic Championship 2023. In this competition, which took place from August 2nd till the 11th, he won 3rd place in open water and 8th in the world ranking. 

Leonardo participated in the 40 to 44-year-old range of the Master category as a representative of La Sociedad Italiana de Tiro al Segno (SITAS), a club from El Palomar, Argentina. In the 3 km test, he competed with 400 athletes and finished the race in 39 minutes (45s 3/100), with only a one-second difference from the second-place swimmer.  

The World Cup in Fukuoka is his third participation in the World Masters. Leo previously competed in World Cups in Russia, Hungary, and Spain. Also in competitions of the Open Water Swimming Championship, Odesur Games, and South American tournaments.
 

“I felt that everything was worth it, not because of the medal and the podium itself, but because I gave my all and that was the most important and rewarding thing.”

 

The Journey to the Victory of a Self-Navigator

 

The championship in Japan gathered hundreds of active swimmers from all over the world, 25 years old or over, to compete in five disciplines: swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming, and open water. To prepare for this level of competition, Leo had intense training, which involved swimming and going to the gym three days a week. That plus physical preparation, kinesiology, and work in the water, all to heal his shoulder. 

An injury in 2019, and the 2020 pandemic, left Leo with no choice but to stay still, unable to swim for a whole year. Only through work and resilience did he rehabilitate. While trying to stay fit for the swimming world championships, Leo kept on going with his daily life: studying Sports Management and Professionalization while working as a Lincoln coach.

Though this is his latest victory, Leo has a long career of achievements. After becoming a national youth champion at only sixteen, he joined the Argentine open-water team to compete in his first South American international tournament. We interviewed our coach to get to know the experience of a champion!

“If you did everything in your power to achieve it, then there will be no regrets. And if you still feel that you can do more, you have to try again and again.”

 

What made you want to participate in international competitions like this one?

 

It was truly amazing and intimidating to feel the adrenaline of competing again at the highest level of swimming, with all the effort and sacrifice that led me to that place. The temperature of the water and the environment were very high for the time of year, adding to the humidity of the place. At the end of the competition, when I found out that I was on the podium and among the first, it was very exciting.

Thousands of memories came to me at once: the whole process, the effort, and the people who cared about me and helped me in every detail up to that point. I felt that everything was worth it, not because of the medal and the podium itself, but because I gave my all and that was the most important and rewarding thing.

 

Athlete and teacher, how do they complement each other?

 

All athletes, whether professionals or not, have unique trajectories and experiences as well as training and professional careers. If we can demonstrate that we have what it takes to compete at the highest level in sport, we can also transfer it to new challenges and other types of work. Luckily, the Lincoln community, the entire Athletic Department, and the Swim Team were always there to support me. I would like to thank Sara (Athletics & Activities Director), Lucila (Athletics Assistant) and the Swimming Team for helping me while I was on this trip!


 

What would be your advice to students who aspire to be athletes one day?

 

There is a quote from Denzel Washington that I like to remember for myself and the Lincoln athletes: “Without commitment, you'll never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you'll never finish.” I believe that you should make a plan and follow it. Although many things can happen along the way, you should enjoy the process. If you did everything in your power to achieve it, then there will be no regrets. And if you still feel that you can do more, you have to try again and again.
 

What values do you and your team foster in our young Lincoln athletes?

 

Each athlete has a personality and physique that make them unique. Still, some traits present in most athletes and teams are resilience, responsibility, and commitment. They are always looking for change and a way to be better for themselves and their team. Also, they follow the values ​​that sport always instills: respect, discipline, tolerance, teamwork, and the spirit of overcoming.

 

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