An astonishing three World Records, four World Cup records and multiple national records were broken at the Hamad Aquatic Centre across two days of action in the pool, and the stars of the swimming world are already looking forward to a return to Doha in December for the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). Qatar will also host the annual FINA World Aquatic Convention directly ahead of the World Championships.
President – Qatar Swimming Association, Khalil Al Jaber, said:
What a fitting start to an important year for swimming in Qatar. This week we have welcomed the swimming world to Doha and seen some exceptional performances in the pool that have been enjoyed by fans locally and across the world. I am proud, and even more excited with what is to come.’
The standout performance of the World Cup meet last week came from Hungary’s golden girl and reigning overall FINA World Cup champion, Katinka Hosszu. The Iron lady shattered the World Records in the 100m, 200m and 400m Individual Medleys, writing herself into the record and to the top of the overall FINA Mastbank World Cup 2014 rankings.
Hosszu’s compatriot, Daniel Gyurta, added a fourth World Cup record on day one in the Men’s 200 m Breaststroke, whilst South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and USA’s Tom Shields both broke their own national records in the 200 m butterfly. Not to be overshadowed by the record-breaking feats of Hosszu, Le Clos, Gyurta and Shields, Inge Dekker (Netherlands) claimed four golds across the meet, whilst Thomas Fraser-Holmes (Australia) took gold in Men’s 200m Freestyle and Men’s 200 m Individual Medley and with the victories, moved into the overall title lead ahead of Chad Le Clos.
Across two days, 7,300 spectators turned out to witness the excitement of seeing the world’s best swimmers race to glory at Hamad Aquatic Centre from 27 to 28 August 2014 and were given a sneak peak of what’s to come when Doha hosts the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in December. They were also amongst the first to see the Official Mascot of the Championships, Bahoor. A perfect choice of mascot for the flagship event in Doha, the sea-creature calls the crystal waters of Qatar’s coastline its home where it elegantly yet powerfully glides through the water.
From 3 to 7 December 2014, the world’s best swimmers will return to Hamad Aquatic Centre for the ultimate showdown in a 25 m pool. 252 medals are up for grabs at the FINA World Swimming Championships, known for its high-speed action and record-breaking moments. Al Jaber said:
We are committed to providing the best facilities and warm hospitality to the athletes that compete here and the impact of that can be seen in the record-breaking performances we have witnessed in the pool over the last few days. The stage is set for a fantastic World Championships in December and we look forward to welcoming the stars back to Doha for another week of spectacular action.’
Chad Le Clos is just one of those athletes already looking forward to a return to Doha for the FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) at Hamad Aquatic Centre. Le Clos, who completed a clean sweep in all three events he competed in at the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup Doha last week, said:
My main goal is to perform well at the World Championships here in Doha in December. The World Cup here was good preparation for that. Hopefully I can come back in December and win some more medals for my fans here.’
Following her triple World Record breaking performance in Doha, Hosszu added:
I will be coming back in December for the World Championships. It’s pretty exciting!’
Joining Le Clos and Hosszu in December will be: triple Olympic medalist, Oussama Mellouli, widely regarding as the most successful swimmer the MENA region has ever produced; George Bovell, four-time Olympian and former World Record holder; Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, who finished second overall in the 2013 World Cup rankings behind Hosszu; and Serbia’s rising star Velimir Stjepanovic.
Doha has marked this year it’s year of swimming with the city not only hosting the first stop in the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup, but also the 3rd FINA Aquatics Convention (29 November to 1 December 2014), directly ahead of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (3 to 7 December 2014).