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BELGRADE, January 15. /TASS/. Russian Olympic medalist in swimming Arkady Vyatchanin decided to apply for the Serbian citizenship after announcing last April that he quit competing for his native country, the Serbian Swimming Federation said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Serbian Swimming Federation has initiated a procedure of obtaining the Serbian citizenship (for Vyatchanin),” the statement said. “With the assistance from the Ministry of Sport and Youth and the personal commitment of Minister (Vanja) Udovicic, the procedure of obtaining the Serbian citizenship will be completed in the urgent term.”
Vyatchanin, 30, announced his intention to leave the Russian national team and begin competing for a different country in April last year after the finals of the Russian Swimming Cup in Kazan.
His decision came as a result of a discord with the Russian Swimming Federation and his coaching staff. According to SwimSwam.com swimming news website, Vyatchanin was allegedly blocked last year from participating in the World Championship Trials.
Vyatchanin, who holds the World Record in 200 meters backstroke short course since 2009, was a member of the Russian national team since 2000. The talented swimmer is dual bronze medalist of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, four-time European champion and three-time silver medalist of the World Championships.