FINA President Maglione: “We all feel at home in Barcelona!”
Before the two-day meeting of the FINA Bureau in Barcelona (ESP), on February 22-23, the FINA President Dr. Julio Maglione met the media in the Catalan capital to share his view of the present status of preparation of the 15th FINA World Championships, taking place from July 19 to August 4. Accompanied by Maite Fandos, co-president of the Organising Committee and responsible for Sport in the Barcelona municipality, and by Cornel Marculescu, FINA Executive Director, the FINA President expressed his optimism: “Everything is running in accordance with the timeline. We are very happy to be back in Barcelona, a city that organised a memorable edition of the Olympic Games in 1992 and an outstanding edition of our World Championships, precisely 10 years ago, in 2003”.
Highlighting the quality and excellence of all the competition venues, Dr. Maglione also underlined the natural characteristics of the city: “People are very friendly, Barcelona is quite an exciting city, with excellent cuisine and many interesting places to visit. We all feel at home in Barcelona!”
The FINA President recalled that the expected participation in the Championships will most probably exceed the 180 nations. “It will be the most participated ever!” he said. “Moreover, we expect to improve the TV figures of the previous World Championships, which were already impressive: both in Rome 2009 and Shanghai 2011, we reached 3.5 billion cumulative TV viewers. Thanks to the fantastic images provided by the Host Broadcaster TVE, we hope to do even better”, continued the FINA President.
Maite Fandos and Dr. Julio C. Maglione at the press conference in Barcelona
Finally, Dr. Maglione expressed his satisfaction for the positive legacy left after the staging of the championships: “Besides the refurbishment of some infrastructures, the FINA World Championships will be a great milestone for the youth in this region and in Spain. This is what matters more for us: that the youth can take the motivation generated by the Championships to practice more sport and have a healthier lifestyle”, stated the FINA President.
Maite Fandos welcomed FINA in Barcelona and considered the organisation of the 15th FINA World Championships a top-priority for the city. “We are ready to host a great competition. The determination of the Organising Committee, the enthusiasm of the many thousands of volunteers that want to be part of the team, and the interest of the population will assure a superb event. Besides the traditional five aquatic disciplines, Barcelona will be marked by the inclusion of High Diving, a new milestone for FINA and for the championships. This will add value to the competition and will be one additional asset in terms of the number of spectators on site and TV viewers worldwide”, considered Ms Fandos.
In the Catalan capital, the FINA Bureau will mainly revise the rule change proposals to be submitted to the Technical and General Congresses to be held in Barcelona in July, while on February 24, the draws for the water polo tournaments of the 15th FINA World Championships will also be held in the Catalan capital.