Meet Itil and Alsu, the official mascots of Kazan 2015!

Kazan 2015

The official marks of the 16th FINA World Championships were presented at the Kazan Arena Stadium on March 27. FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu and Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate Azat Kadyrov unveiled the slogan, logo and mascots of the upcoming sporting event.

The mascots are two snow leopards, Itil (boy) and Alsu (girl). In the context of the Championships, this animal symbolises skill, swiftness and power. The male name, Itil, is the medieval name of the Volga River, and it is still used in the Kazakh, Chuvash, Tatar, Bashkir, Kalmyk and Mongolian languages. The female name, Alsu, is the common Tatar name meaning ‘pink-coloured water’ or figuratively ‘rosy cheeks’, which is strongly connected with the idea of water and healthy lifestyle. When choosing the mascots’ names, the organisers kept in mind such criteria as uniqueness, clarity of perception, ease of memorisation, national colour and the ways the names are pronounced in different languages, which is particularly important for the international event.

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FINA President pays fruitful visit in Kazan

Kazan 2015

Yet again the host city of the 16th FINA World Championships, Kazan, welcomes representatives of the Fédération Internationale de Natation, FINA. Together with members of the Kazan 2015 Organising Committee, the FINA delegates will meet during two days to address key aspects of preparations for the future competition.

Among the FINA representatives who arrived in Kazan are President Dr. Julio C. Maglione, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu, as well as several consultants and representatives partnering with FINA for the World Championships.

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DWS 2014, Dubai day 3: Minibaev (RUS) breaks Chinese hegemony

Diving World Series

The third leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series successfully concluded in Dubai (UAE) on March 22, with the last two finals in the programme, the men’s and women’s 10m platform. In theory, two expectable gold medals for China. But things sometimes are not meant to be as the predictions on paper. However, at the end of the three-day competition at the impressive Hamdan Sports Complex, China (six gold out of eight finals) confirmed its supremacy in the world diving hierarchy.

In the most exciting final (men’s 10m platform) of the competition in Dubai, everything seemed to run in the right direction for Qiu Bo (CHN) until he badly missed his fifth attempt, a 109C (DD 3.7). Qiu was perhaps overwhelmed by his precedent dive, when all the seven judges gave him a perfect 10! Victor Minibaev (RUS), his most direct rival, took advantage of the situation and conquered the gold in 537.05, against Qiu’s 530.90.

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DWS 2014, Dubai day 2: China dominates in 3m springboard

Diving World Series

The second day of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series leg in Dubai (UAE) confirmed the Chinese dominance in the 3m springboard, where the gold and silver medals both in the men’s and women’s events went to the best athletes of the Asian delegation.

It all started with the women’s final, where He Zi, the winner in 382.10, and Wang Han, the silver medallist in 362.45 entirely dominated the five-dive decisive round. With this result, He set a new record of 17 World Series victories in one individual discipline. For China, the gold and silver in the same event is the country’s 64th multi-medal effort in World Series history. No other country has achieved this even once.

The bronze went to Italy’s Tania Cagnotto with 357.85 points. Cagnotto has now won nine World Series medals in 3m springboard, third among all divers behind He (23) and Wu Minxia (CHN, 12).

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DWS 2014, Dubai day 1: Three gold out of four for China

Diving World Series

Three gold medals out of four. This was the outcome for the powerful Chinese team in the inaugural day of the second leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series, taking place in the impressive Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai (UAE) from March 20-22, 2014. With four synchronised finals, Germany was stronger in the men’s 3m springaboard, while China displayed its supremacy in the women’s events and in the men’s 10m platform synchro.

With a long tradition of victory in the women’s 10m synchro (27 victories out of 28 finals contested in the history of the World Series), China (Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia), did not disappoint, getting the gold in 337.56, more than 20 points in front of the silver medallists from Malaysia (Mun-Yee Leong and Pandelela Rinong Pamg), who finished in 314.64. The bronze went to Canadians Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion (309.09). Chen and Liu have won all three World Series competitions that they have entered together in this discipline, in Beijing (2013 and 2014) and Dubai (2013). Moreover, with her 22nd podium, Chen equalled the World Series record for most podium finishes in any women's discipline, held by He Zi (CHN) in 3m springboard. Rinong and Leong had also made the podium in their last five World Series competitions in this discipline. They came second in 2012 in their only previous appearance together in Dubai. Finally, Benfeito and Filion have been previously in the top four in all 19 World Series competitions they have entered in this event, including 15 podiums. They have come second 11 times, losing to a Chinese pair each time, including 10 times to a Chinese pair that included Chen. The Canadian pair admitted “some mistakes in the fourth round that determined the final placing”.

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