Olympic Finalist Stjepanovicl; USC’s Basaraba Headline Serbian Team for Worlds

Serbia will be represented at the World Championship with 7 swimmers, including Andrea Basaraba, a rising senior at USC, and a member of Pac-12 Academic Team.

Basaraba, who is a 4 time Serbian National Record Holder,  will be swimming 800 free. Basaraba was born in Belgrade, Serbia, though she attended high school in the United States.

As the program moves on following the retirement of longtime Michael-Phelps-rival Milorad Cavic, the star of the new-look Serbian team is Velimir Stjepanovic, who will compete in 200 fly, 200 and 400 free. Stjepanovic, who was born, raised, and trains in the UAE, finished 6th in the 200 fly at the Olympics last year and is just 19 years old. He also won 3 Mediterranean Championships this year. 

The other members of the team include Miroslava Najdanovski, who swam the 50 and 100 freestyles at the Olympics; Ivan Lenđer, who was 18th in the 100 fly in London,  Silađi Čaba , Bogdan Knežević and  Boris Stojanović.

Aside from the absence of Cavic, this roster is also now without Nada Higl, the 2009 World Champion in the 200 breaststroke (and former European Record holder). She will be swimming her first meet since the Olympics this weekend at Serbian Nationals. With her absence  Basaraba will be the only female member of this year’s team, and tallies yet another World Championship qualifier for Dave Salo’s group in Los Angeles.

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Stjepanovic will make some noise in Barcelona – hopefully his back will hold up.

Samo Sloga Srbiju Spasava!!!!!


Pozdrav iz Srbije. 🙂


Milorad Cavic did great things for Serbia and Serbian swimming. He can do even more if he works hard on getting his swim school off the ground. Hopefully he will not give up when he sees how much work it is required, like some of Olympic swimmers here in the USA. Cavic’s races with Phelps and Nadja Higl’s win over Rebecca Soni at 2009 WC were events Serbia will never forget.


Just a little reminder of that unforgettable race from Roma 2009, specially for Serbian fans here:

I still cringe and feel for Rebecca everytime I force myself to morbidly rewatch this race in horrified fascination lol That last lap, well actually I think the piano starts dropping at about 5m from the last turn, has to be just about one of the most painful swim I’ve seen anyone have to suffer…


That last 50 by Soni was the most painful last 50 I ever saw. By a long shot.



I’m not really sure Cavic is aware of all the problems he’ll have to endure to be able to succeed with his swim school. I have so much respect for him for choosing to come back and invest in young swimmers, but I’m afraid it’s not going to work. Young, talented swimmers usually join water polo clubs because they can make career and money there. Swimming has no structure and support, there is no scholarship or any help for youngsters trying to make it.


Congrats to Andrea on making the WC team! It’ll be the experience of a lifetime. Enjoy the journey!! Fight on! Thanks for repping USC Trojans there in Barcelona!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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