Dubai set for Spectacular Feast of Swimming Action

Dubai: Dubai sports fans will be treated to a surfeit of world class aquatic action in October as the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup returns to Dubai.

Spectators at last year’s event witnessed a swimming spectacular which featured several swimmers who went on to take medals at the Olympics last month, and organisers are again expecting a wealth of talent to battle it out for glory in the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex.

London Olympic Gold Medallist and World Record holder Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa will be part of the star studded field this year, along with 2011 Swimming World Cup overall champion and World Record holder Therese Alshammar of Sweden, guaranteeing a highly competitive meet and a feast of world-class action to delight the crowds.

“It is a great honour to be hosting this fantastic event again in Dubai,” said Dr Ahmad Saad Al Sharif, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee. “Last year’s FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup was a great success and we are delighted to be welcoming the world’s best again next month”. “I have no doubt that we will once again witness some incredible action over the two days in October,” added Al Sharif.

The Dubai competition, which will take place on October 2-3, will be the first of the eight-leg highly competitive World Cup series, which then moves on to Doha, Stockholm, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore. The Swimming World Cup is contested in a 25m pool and sees both men and women vying for prize money in each of the 36 events.

With the World Championships (25m) being held in Turkey in December this year, organisers are expecting a top class field as swimmers re-set their focus after the Olympics on achieving success in the 25m events.

The event is being organised by the Dubai sports Council and the UAE Swimming Federation, and is part of a long term plan to promote and develop swimming in the region.

“One of our key objectives in hosting these events is to stimulate the growth of aquatic sports in the UAE. We and have seen a substantial increase in the number of children participating in swimming since we held our first major event World Championships (25m) here in 2010, and we anticipate seeing continued growth with each event we hold,” said Dr Al Sharif.

“Not only is it wonderful to be able to offer such quality sport to the Dubai public, but the benefits of having this wonderful venue where we can proudly host these events are really starting to show. We had our first medallist in the World Cup last year, and we aim to see many more of our UAE athletes reach the podium in the future. Events such as this are a critical element in this plan,” he added.

The event will see teams from 24 countries including Great Britain, the USA and China competing for honours in the first leg of the World Cup. “With so many nationalities living in Dubai, we are encouraging spectators to come out and show their support for their teams as they take each other on in this spectacular state-of-the-art venue which is now established as one of the best venues on the world swimming circuit”. “And of course, we will all be cheering on our own UAE swimmers as they take on the world,” said Ahmed Al Falasi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation.

The FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup will begin at 9am on Tuesday October 2 with heats in the morning, and finals being contested at 6pm, with the same schedule on Wednesday October 3. Tickets to the event will be available at the door, at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex, which is located on the Dubai Bypass Road (E611).

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