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.
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