The brightest Stars in Dubai
CAMERON VAN DER BURGH (RSA)
At 22, he is the current WR holder in the 50m breaststroke (25.25) and 100m breaststroke (55.61) - he was also respectively third and second in those events in Manchester 2008. In long course, he got the gold in the 50m at the 2009 Worlds in Rome. Over the last years, he is one of the most “valuable” athletes in the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup series.
OUSSAMA MELLOULI (TUN)
Born in 1984, he was Tunisia’s second ever gold medallist (all sports) at the Olympics, where he earned gold in 2008 in the 1500m free. In Rome 2009, at the FINA World Championships, he confirmed that victory and added silver in the 400m and 800m free. In 2004, he won gold in the 400m IM and bronze in the 200m IM in Indianapolis.
CESAR CIELO (BRA)
Born in 1987, he gave the first ever gold to Brazil in Olympic waters, in 2008, in the 50m freestyle. One year later, in Rome, he won the 50m free and 100m at the FINA World Championships, events he which he is the current WR holder. He won one medal in this competition (silver in the 4x100m free relay, in 2004).
REBECCA SONI (USA)
Making her entry in the “elite” club at the 2008 Olympics (3 medals, including gold in the 200m breaststroke), she will also search in Dubai for her first award at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). At 23, she is the current WR holder in both the short course 100m breaststroke (1:02.70) and 200m breaststroke (2:14.57).
RYAN LOCHTE (USA)
Perhaps the brightest star of the championships, as the best male swimmer in the history of the competition – 15 medals so far (including 8 gold), since 2004. At 26, he also has 6 podium presences at the Olympics and 13 medals at the FINA World Championships. Swims backstroke and medley events (WR holder in the 200m IM, long course).
LIU ZIGE (CHN)
She was one of the revelations at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when she got the gold in the 200m butterfly, a distance in which she holds the WR in both 50m-pool (2:01.81) and 25m-pool (2:00.78). Born in 1989, she was silver medallist at the 2009 Worlds in Rome and will fight in Dubai for her first award in this competition.
RYOSUKE IRIE (JPN)
One of the heroes at the recent Asian Games, where he got 4 gold and one silver medal, he is at 20 one of the most accomplished backstrokers of the planet. At the 2009 Worlds in Rome, he was silver medallist in the 200m and is in a good position to be Japan’s first-ever men’s gold medallist at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).
ALAIN BERNARD (FRA)
The 100m free Olympic champion will perhaps be the second French swimmer to win gold in these championships, after the “distant” victory (1993) of Franck Esposito in the 200m butterfly. At 27, and with 3 medals at FINA World Championships (50m-pool), he was former WR holder in the 50m free and 100m free (long course) and 100m free (short course).
FEDERICA PELLEGRINI (ITA)
At 22, the Italian “diva” is one of the best freestylers in the world, with 2 Olympic and 4 World Championships medals. In Shanghai 2006, she obtained silver in the 200m free and bronze in the 400m. She holds the short course WR in the 200m (1:51.17), and the long course WR in the 200m (1:52.98) and 400m (3:59.15).
PETER MANKOC (SLO)
Born in 1978, he is a true short course specialist and WR holder in the 100m IM (50.76), having won 7 medals (including 3 gold) in this competition (since 2002). At the European Short Course Championships, he has an outstanding series of nine consecutive victories in his pet event (from 2000 to 2008).
THERESE ALSHAMMAR (SWE)
At 33, she won 15 medals so far (third best female swimmer in the history of the competition), since 1997. Current WR holder in the 50m butterfly, both short (24.38) and long (25.07) course, she has also a very respectful record in 50m-pool competitions – 3 Olympic and 6 World Championships medals. She is the winner of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup series in 2006, 2007 and 2010.
GEOFF HUEGILL (AUS)
At 31, he will try to obtain his sixth medal in these championships, following the successes in 1997 and 2002. After retiring in 2004, he announced his comeback in the end of 2008, and was already one of the heroes of the recent 2010 Commonwealth Games, with one gold in the 100m butterfly and silver in the 50m butterfly, his pet events.
LEISEL JONES (AUS)
Never medalled in this competition, she is one of the most successful breaststrokers in 50m-pool, having won 8 Olympic medals (including 3 gold), and 12 medals at the FINA World Championships. Jones (25) was the former World Record holder in the 100m and 200m breaststroke (long course), events in which she took gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- Doha 2014