Lochte out of luck as passion drives Le Clos to glory
The smiles and wide grins dissolved into a tearful medal ceremony as the South African National anthem rang out for newly-crowned FINA Male Swimmer of the year Chad le Clos at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha. Le Clos had just won gold in the 200m freestyle on his international competitive debut at the distance.
He tapped the wall first in 1:41.45, beating defending champion Ryan Lochte of the United States who finished third in 1:42,09, with Russian Danila Izotov narrowly second in 1:41.67.
Doha 2014, Day 1: Belmonte, 2 – Hosszu, 0
The 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), staged in Doha (QAT) from December 3-7, 2014 couldn’t have started in a better way: after the initial day, three World Records and six Championships records were already established, with some races having unpredictable outcomes.
The hero of the inaugural evening session was undoubtedly Mireia Belmonte (ESP), winning the women’s 200m butterfly and the 400m IM in outstanding WRs of 1:59.61 and 4:19.86 respectively. And in both occasions, she defeated Katinka Hosszu (HUN), the dominator of the 2014 season in short-course pool. Chad Le Clos (RSA) won the men’s 200m free duel against Ryan Lochte (USA), France was first in the men’s 4x100m free, while the Netherlands totally dominated the women’s 4x200m free in a new global best mark of 7:32.85.
Hangzhou of China welcomes the world for 2018
Almost to tears, Luo Xuejuan, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist in the 100m breaststroke, was too excited when she witnessed her hometown Hangzhou, China win the bid of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the FINA World Aquatics Convention in 2018, beating Lima (PER) and UAE.
"When I was an athlete, my dream was to compete in major international swimming events in China. I'm really proud of my hometown and I'll strive for promoting this championships," Luo, who acted as an ambassador for the successful bid, said.
Perfectionist Hosszu is aiming even higher
Katinka Hosszu has been on a winning track for the whole season. Now she is closing up 2014 with 10 individual starts in the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) here. "Ten golds is a lot but it is the ultimate goal," she told AIPS.
Before diving into the championships this week the 'Iron Lady' Hosszu was hailed as FINA World Female Swimmer of the Year with South African Chad Le Clos taking the men's award.
Maglione calls on world to back swimming's cause
FINA's president spoke for 15 minutes at the federation's World Aquatics Convention. In that time more than 10 people lost their lives, drowned.
The statistics come from a new report by the World Health Organisation which found 372,000 people have drowned each year for the past 10 years. That computes to 40 people every hour.
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