Final Day of Competition Comes to an Exciting Close

Olympic medalists and world record holders battled it out to gain crucial points with just three meets remaining of the 2016 series. The highlight once again was the unstoppable Katinka Hosszu who claimed a total of nine gold and four silver medals over the two days.

Speaking following the conclusion of the fifth consecutive World Cup in Doha, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and President of the Qatar Swimming Association, Khaleel Al Jabir, said:

Hosting the FINA Airweave Swimming World Cup event is critical to the future of the sport here and I’m so pleased to have received such positive feedback from athletes, fans and officials. This is very important to us as we look ahead to our hosting of the Doha 2023 FINA World Championships for the first time in the Middle East. We are committed to showcasing the very best of aquatic sports and capturing the attention of new audiences and new athletes to grow and develop aquatics in a new region.’

In the women’s competition, Katinka Hosszu further extended her unbeatable lead in the overall World Cup rankings after equalling her own record tally of thirteen medals in a single World Cup series event, a feat she recently achieved in Dubai.

The Hungarian star known as the Iron Lady said:

It was definitely a fun two days. The crowd was amazing. There were a lot of Hungarians here so I’m always happy to be back. I love being here in Doha. I’ve broken eight world records here so it’s always nice to relive these memories. For me it’s always fun to race and challenge myself. I like that or else it gets boring for me. I like putting myself in situations where I might not win. I have thirteen medals over these two days and now I’ll try to beat that.’

Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark, who is currently lying in second in the World Cup series and a bronze medallist from Rio 2016, claimed an impressive four gold medals in Doha. However, she plans to keep her form going for the upcoming World Cup cluster.

Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen on the podium with Hosszu and Groves
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen on the podium with Hosszu and Groves

Alia Atkinson, who became Jamaica’s first-ever World Champion in the Doha 2014 World Championships and who is the current world-record holder in the 100m breaststroke continued her dominance in the event with golds in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke, as well as a bronze in the 100m individual medley.

In the men’s competition, Vladimir Morozov of Russia also proved why he has already secured his spot as winner of the 2016 World Cup series with an outstanding six gold medals over the two days of competition.

finaairweave-swimming-world-cup-2016-in-doha
Image credit: Richard Walker

Chad le Clos tonight claimed two further gold medals to take his event tally to three golds, two silvers and a bronze.

Other multiple medallists from the Doha leg of the 2016 World Cup series include Rio 2016 bronze medallist Daiya Seto of Japan who claimed three golds, one silver and one bronze, Yuliya Efimova of Russia with two golds and four silvers and Bobby Hurley of Australia with two golds, one silver and one bronze.


DAY 1

Spectators at Hamad Aquatic Centre (HAC) enjoyed the spectacle of the world’s greatest swimmers in competitive action in Doha on the first day of the FINA airweave Swimming World Cup with Hungary’s Iron lady Katinka Hosszu, Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Brazil’s Felipe Lima amongst the star performers.

The opening night was fast and furious with 18 finals featuring a number of Olympic medallists, world-record holders and world-champions with Qatar further enhancing its reputation as a leading host and force within international sport, especially in swimming.

Speaking following the first day, President of the Qatar Swimming Association and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Khaleel Al Jabir, said:

In an Olympic year with memories of Rio still fresh this occasion has been made even more special with a record number of 24 Qataris swimmers racing in the championship. This proves the growing interest in the sport and the legacy this championship has created. It really has been an inspiration to our young people and the future is bright for swimming.’

Katinka Hosszu during the 200m individual medley
Katinka Hosszu during the 200m individual medley

In the women’s competition day one witnessed everything with wins by the experienced Hosszu, who recorded 4 victories across the 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 800m freestyle. While at the other end of the spectrum 11 year old Alzain Tareq of Bahrain made a remarkable debut as she starts out on a long journey in a quest for an Olympic medal in Tokyo 2020.

Another young swimmer taking advantage of the chance to gain valuable experience in the pool against the fastest swimmers in the world, Qatar’s 15 year old Abdelrahman Mohamed performed admirably in front of home fans.

In the men’s competition, Russian Vladimir Morozov maintained his leading position thanks to a win in the Men’s 100m Individual Medley and 100m freestyle. For Le Clos his day one highlight was a solitary victory in the Men’s 50m Butterfly.

Saturday’s swimming spectacle also saw Japan’s Daiya Seto snag two gold medals in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley while Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina won 1 gold in the 200m backstroke and 1 silver medal in the 50m backstroke. Crowd favourite Jeanette Ottesen from Denmark and Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson won one gold each in the 100m butterfly and 100m breaststroke respectively.

The exhilarating action returns today for the second and final day where rivalries will be renewed in front of another capacity crowd at the Hamad Aquatic Centre.


Day 1 – Qatar’s Young Swimmers Get a Taste of World Stage

 Speaking following the opening session, President of the Qatar Swimming Association and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Khaleel Al Jabir, said:

We are very pleased to have so many Qatari swimmers competing in this year’s event and this shows just how far swimming in Qatar has developed over recent years. Participating in world-class competitions against the world’s best swimmers gives our young athletes inspirational experience for their future careers.’

Speaking following his 100m backstroke race Qatari swimmer Abdulaziz Al Obaidly, 15 said:

I would like to repeat my performance and keep my good scores in this World Cup. I was just next to World Champions and swimming next to them feels great. I’ve met some inspirational individuals and I’m looking to my best.’

Team Qatar's Abdull Abughazal competes-in the 400m freestyle heat
Team Qatars Abdull Abughazal competes-in the 400m freestyle heat

Also competing were more experienced members of the Qatar team, Nada Arakji, 21, who this year became the first female Qatari to compete in two Olympic Games, and 17 year old Noah Al Khulaifi, who was one of the youngest members of Qatar’s Rio 2016 Olympic team.

Speaking following racing in the men’s 50m butterfly, Al Khulaifi said:

I can see the improvement in my performance today in terms of everything and now I’m focusing on the World Cup in Singapore and the World Championships in Canada.’


Swimming Stars Mark Eve of Swimming Championship

The world’s greatest swimmers have arrived in Doha ahead of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup at the Hamad Aquatic Centre (HAC) from 8-9 October 2016. Newly crowned Olympic Champions and reigning World Champions alike will face-off in an exhilarating two days of swimming action.

FINA Airweave SWimming Championship Doha Qatar
Khaleel Al-Jabir, Ryan Arblaster, Katinka Hosszu, Chad Le Clos and Jeanette Ottesen during the FINA press conference.                                                       Image credit: Richard Walker

World Champions and Rio 2016 Olympians Katinka Hosszu and Chad Le Clos, and world-recorder holder in the 4x50m relay Jeanette Ottesen, joined President of the Qatar Swimming Association and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee Khaleel Al-Jabir at the HAC Friday, to mark the eminent start of the exciting event. Commenting on the eve of the event, Al-Jabir said:

In total, we will have 13 medallists from Rio competing in Doha this weekend – as well as 4 world-record holders – so it promises to be one of the most exciting Doha World Cups to date. We have no doubt that over the next two days we will see incredible competition, and hopefully some further world-records – and we cannot wait for it to begin.’

Crowd favorites Hosszu, Le Clos and Ottesen voiced their excitement at once again competing in the waters of the HAC, following fantastic success in previous years and at the 2014 World Championships. Hosszu and Le Clos are flying high following their successes in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where the Hungarian Hosszu won three gold medals and Le Clos snagged two silver medals.

Hosszu is currently first in the overall FINA World Cup rankings after a stellar march through this year’s series. In the French leg of the World Cup she took home seven medals including five golds and two silvers. The swimming juggernaut continued her domination in the following Berlin edition where she snagged a jaw-dropping 11 medals. Hosszu then headed to Moscow where she took home 6 medals in total.  She hopes to continue her massive success in Doha.

Meanwhile Le Clos is also ranked first in the FINA World Cup 2016 standings and has an unbelievable total medal tally of 100 medals over the years – more than any other male swimmer that has competed in the World Cup since 1989.

Meanwhile, Ryan Arblaster, FINA TSC Committee Member also said:

On behalf of FINA, I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Qatar Swimming Association and the Hamad Aquatic Centre for their important role in developing swimming in Qatar. An unprecedented 23 world records were set in the Hamad Aquatic Centre’s pool in the 2014 Short Course World Championship which is a testament to the great facilities. This is one of the best facilities in the world so we are very pleased to host it in Qatar. At the completion of this meet on Sunday we will present a total of USD 300,000 prize money to the top swimmers. Thank you to all the swimmers at this competition and we wish you all the best.’

Le Clos and Hosszu will be joined by other Rio 2016 Olympic Champions, including Japan’s Rie Kaneto, Brittany Elmslie of Australia and Katie Meili of the USA. With a star-studded lineup set for this year’s event, held in Doha for the fifth consecutive time, superb swimming action is all but guaranteed.


Tickets are available through Q-tickets.com – prices are set at QAR20 per person per session.