Small country is no hurdle to big feat, says Moravcova

FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)

Martina MoravcovaMartina Moravcova came a long way from small town Piestany in her native Slovakia to making her mark on the international swimming stage for no less than 16 years.

Addressing a 380-strong audience at the Aspire Zone's swimming pool on December 4, 2014 where the FINA / Doha 2014 Youth programme is taking place, the FINA Athletes Commission member delivered an important message to the young swimmers and their coaches, representing more than 130 countries.

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Doha 2014, Day 3: Five WR in glorious evening for Hungary

FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)

BernekAfter skipping the heats of the 400m free in the morning, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) was the protagonist of the third day of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha (QAT). The FINA Best Female Swimmer of 2014 strategically decided to be in top shape for her two evening finals, the 200m backstroke and the 100m IM and the choice paid off: in both events, the Magyar great established new World Records! In the backstroke race, she clocked 1:59.23 (improving Missy Franklin’s WR of 2:00.03 from 2011) and became the first woman to swim under the two-minute mark; in the medley event, she touched home in 56.70, bettering her own best time of 56.86 from the Swimming World Cup action last September. After setting also a global best mark in the 100m backstroke on Day 2, Hosszu has now three gold medals and three WR, plus two silver medals in the 200m butterfly and 400m IM.

But the Hungarian saga in this third night continued with her compatriots Daniel Gyurta and Peter Bernek. In the men’s 200m breaststroke, Gyurta controlled the race and got the gold in 2:01.49, while Bernek dominated the men’s 400m free, with a victory in 3:34.32, a new Championships record (CR), the oldest one in the charts (the best previous mark of the competition had been established by Australia’s Grant Hackett in 1999, in a time of 3:35.01).

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Greg Louganis . . . on the childhood skillset which turned him into an Olympic icon

Young Reporters Programme

Greg Louganis remains an icon of aquatics even though he dived to win his last Olympic gold medal back in 1988, despite famously hitting his head on the springboard in the preliminaries. Now 54, Louganis won his first Olympic medal at 16 in Montreal then, eight years later in Los Angeles, became the first man in 56 years to win two diving golds at the same Games.

Winning two more golds in Seoul secured his status in the sport in which he remains involved as a diving referee and a mentor for young competitors. Louganis was invited to attend the FINA World Aquatics Convention but could not be present in Doha. He reviewed both his career and remarkable life for AIPS Young Reporters via a Skype interview.

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Kenya's young sensation sets her sights on Kazan

Young Reporters Programme

Emily MutetiAt just 16, Emily Muteti is the latest Kenyan swimming sensation, after the famous Dunford brothers, David and Jason.

Muteti, a student at the Visa Oshwal Academy in Mombasa in the Kenyan coastal strip, is targeting at least one final when the world gathers for the long course swimming championships in Kazan, Russia, next summer. Voted the most promising personality at the Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year awards last December, Muteti believes she has what it takes to put the East African country on the swimming map.

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Doha 2014, Day 2: Brazil rejoices, Hosszu gets WR consolation

FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)

Ruta_meilutyteThe satisfaction of Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and of her coach at the end of the women’s 100m backstroke is the image of Day 2 at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), taking place in Doha (QAT) until December 7. After an initial day where she lost two races (200m butterfly and 400m IM) to Mireia Belmonte (ESP), the Magyar swam with all her energy for the gold in the backstroke event, highlighting her effort with a new World Record of 55.03 – Hosszu swam 0.20 faster than Shiho Sakai (JPN, 55.23) in 2009. When looking at the scoreboard, the FINA Best Female Swimmer of 2014, strongly beat the water, and screamed her joy, meaning to whoever doubted on her shape that she is one of the swimmers to beat in the Qatari capital.

But this consolation was not enough to win the third direct duel with Mireia Belmonte, this time in the 800m free. The Magyar champion looked tired throughout the final, and Belmonte, WR holder since 2013 in 7:59.34 easily managed to control operations: she got her third gold in Doha, winning in a new Championships record of 8:03.41 (almost five seconds faster than the 8:08.25 clocked in 2008 by Rebecca Adlington, from Great Britain). Hosszu was fifth (8:20.71) of the fastest heat and ninth in the overall ranking of the event.

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