Christchurch earthquake shakes QEII Stadium's future
New Zealand’s iconic QEII Stadium could become another victim of the horrific Christchurch earthquake. Shut since the February 22 quake, which devastated the city and left thousands of people homeless and a third of the central business district’s 1500 buildings destroyed or set for demolition, QEII’s future is uncertain.
All Christchurch’s sporting facilities have been closed and the newly erected Deans Stand at the city’s main rugby stadium in also under a cloud. The stadium is slated to host round matches, quarter-finals and a semifinal of this year’s Rugby World Cup.
QEII is close to the hearts of FINA folk since its emergence in the early 1970s as the athletics and swimming venue for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. Millions of people have flowed through the gates to the aquatic venue, which underwent a major rebuild in the early 2000s to host the FINA World Masters Championships in 2002.
Pellegrini confident after record-breaking performance
Italy's best swimming clubs were in Ostia (Roma) for the "coppa Brema" on March 5-6. Federica Pellegrini's club, "Aniene", won both team titles (men's and women's), repeating their 2010 double success. The meet was the year's first competitive event for Pellegrini, since the beginning of her French "adventure" with coach Philippe Lucas early February.
On the last day, a lightning illuminated the "coppa Brema"'s final: her name is Federica Pellegrini. The Italian swimming diva, in a brief appearance in Rome (in the same evening, she had returned from the race to Paris to resume training) was able to bring the winning support to her club "Aniene", thus not only reconfirming their 2010 double success, but also overturning Alessia Filippi's domination in the 400m freestyle.
Iran's National Academy and West Asia Development Swimming Center opened
On February 24, 2011, Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the National Academy and West Asia Development Swimming Center.
This complex contains two 50-meter swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor with warm water, a diving pool, a 25-meter warm-up indoor pool, ten saunas (steam and dry), ten jacuzzis, ten hydrotherapy swimming pools as well as a dormitory for 300 persons, a restaurant and meeting room for up to 400 persons. The complex was completed with US$20m only in ten months and it is a record-time in Iran.
Mr. President Ahmadinejad expressed his satisfaction in front of the I.R. Iran Swimming Federation and the sport family during the opening ceremony: "Every day we hear good news from Iran swimming and it is our pleasure."
Junior synchro team prepare for South American Championships
Coomeva Colombia junior synchronised swimming team, under the guidance of coach Paula Garcia, whose 10 synchro swimmers will represent Colombia at the South American Championships in Lima, Peru, from March 14-20.
Garcia said: "The training processes are being upgraded to organise and improve those routines that have a higher degree of difficulty. The training is five hours from Monday to Saturday, where it is intended that the athletes achieve their best performance for this important international competition."
The Coomeva Colombia junior Selection will compete in solo, duet, team and combination events. Brazil and Colombia are expected to be fighting for the first place.
Pellegrini: first month with Lucas
It has been a month since Federica Pelligrini’s first training in Paris under the guidance of Philippe Lucas and the Italian swimming diva appears more and more quiet and confident at this time of year. Just back in the French capital after a two-week rally in Cyprus with fiancé Luca Marin and new teammates Leveaux, Stasiulis and Potec, the World and Olympic champion is eager to take to the water for the year’s first contests.
Next week-end she will be in Rome for the “coppa Brema”, a competition which awards the national title per club. After this Italian stop, she will be back in Paris before taking part in the Italian Championships in Riccione from April 13-17, a very important test in sight of the FINA World Championships in Shanghai next July: there, Pellegrini will be at the start of the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.
Casablanca to host 2013 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships
The Royal Moroccan Swimming Federation (FRMN) is happy to announce that the city of Casablanca has been awarded by FINA the organisation of the 4th World Junior Swimming Championships, which will take place in August 2013.
The venue will be the magnificent Mohamed V Olympic Swimming-Pool Complex, which has hosted numerous regional and continental events, including the 1983 Mediterranean Games. After the successful organisation of the 2010 African Swimming Championships, in which more than 200 swimmers from 20 countries participated, the FRMN team is looking forward to welcoming the swimming family once again for what they feel is going to be a great event.
First SA International Swimming Meet successful in Port Elizabeth
The first South African International Swimming Meet was launched in the windy city of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.The two-day event drew leading swimmers from Germany, Great Britain, USA, Spain, Brazil, Venezuela, Tunisia, Trinidad and Tobago.
The best performances, both male and female, based on FINA points, each earned $10,000 and were awarded to Randall Bal (USA) and Elizabeth Simmonds (GBR) respectively.
The event is expected to be the first of many, Prof. Alfred Nevhutanda, Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board, said: "We hope that the grants from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) will help develop swimming in South Africa so that we get representation from all corners of South Africa at future international meets. To the athletes, your performances take swimming to a new level not only in the minds of SA's sports fans, but all across the world."
St. Lucia rewards young talents
In a glittering ceremony at the Gaiety Theatre on February 19, the Minister of Youth & Sports, the Honorable Lenard "Spider" Montoute presented the national Sportspersons of the Year Awards.
For the fourth successive year, swimmer Sonia Huxley was named as St. Lucia's Junior Sportswoman of the Year while for the second year, swimmer Joshua Runako Daniel was named as Junior Sportman of the Year. This highly competitive young athlete holds a total of fourteen St. Lucia records for the 13-14 age group, as well as a national record in the 100m butterfly.
Canada to host inaugural World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships
Swimming Canada received the great news that its bid for the 2012 World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, presented to FINA, the International federation for competitive swimming, had been accepted. This inaugural event will be held in the spectacular Welland Recreational Waterway, located in the heart of Niagara, Ontario in August of 2012.
“FINA is delighted to award the 1st FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships to Canada,” said Dr. Margo Mountjoy, member of the FINA bureau.
“Canada has a longstanding history in open water swimming and in hosting FINA events having just recently held the successful FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships 2010 in Roberval, Quebec. The Niagara Region is an attractive and exciting location for these Championships,” added Mountjoy.
Brazilians take home 13 medals from Port Elizabeth
Nine Brazilian swimmers took part in the International Invitation Swimming Meet 2011 taking place in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The national team included Fernanda Alvarenga, Henrique Barbosa, João Luiz Junior, Tatiana Lemos, Fabiola Molina, Carolina Mussi, Raphael Rodrigues, Tatiane Sakemi and Diogo Yabe. In all, 13 medals were garnered by the Brazilians. Luiz Junior was the only one to bag two gold medals, in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.
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