Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010: World's best women's water polo teams head to Christchurch (NZL)

Water Polo World Cup

New Zealand's women's water polo players take on the planet's heavyweights this week at the 15th FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup at Christchurch's QE II Stadium. Ranked outside the elite group, the Kiwis face the daunting task of mixing it with seven of the leading teams as they battle for world supremacy in the year's major test ahead of next year's FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China.

It's the second time Christchurch has hosted the event after the first in 1988. This four-year spectacle, dominated by the Netherlands with eight titles since its inception in 1979, is headed by reigning champion Australia, who last week bested six of the teams at the 10th Anniversary Tournament in Sydney, celebrating a decade since women's water polo's inclusion to Olympic Games.

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YOG Singapore 2010, Day 2: China enters twice in history

Youth Olympic Games

During the inaugural day of the Swimming programme at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, China made history on two occasions: in the men’s 400m free, Jun Dai was the first ever Youth Olympic champion in Swimming, by getting the gold in 3:50.91. In the third and last final of the session, the team of China also triumphed in the mixed 4x100m free relay. For this event, never contested at an official FINA competition, the composition of the teams includes two boys and two girls, who can swim in whatever order they want. If during preliminaries, tactics changed enormously among the participating countries, in the decisive race, all the eight finalists except Hong Kong chose the formula “one boy, two girls, one boy”. With equivalent strategies, China (Bowei Sun, Yi Tang, Lan Liu and Jianbin He) got the gold in 3:31.34, defeating Australia (second in 3:31.69), and France (third in 3:35.90).

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YOG Singapore 2010, Day 1: Spectacular Opening Ceremony celebrates Youth, Sport and Culture

Youth Olympic Games

The inaugural edition of the Youth Olympic Games, in Singapore (SIN), is officially open. After a spectacular Opening Ceremony, where Youth, Sport and Culture were the key concepts, the best young athletes of the planet will start competing in 26 sports, until August 26. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, addressed them a strong message: "You will learn the difference between winning and being a champion. To win, you merely have to cross the finish line first. To be a champion, you have to inspire admiration for your character, as well as for your physical talent. You have to compete in spirit of fair play, respecting your opponents and the rules — without doping or any other unfair advantage".

Held in the breathtaking scenario of Singapore’s Marina Bay, surrounded by the city skyscrapers and the now emblematic Marina Bay Sands complex, the show combined light and music with original choreographies and some innovation in terms of the Olympic protocol at Opening Ceremonies. The parade of the athletes was, for example, not done in the traditional way; this time, the competitors entered in a block in one of the first “chapters” of the Ceremony. A bit later, the flags of the 205 nations present in Singapore made their formal entry in the Marina Bay. Besides the usual athletes and officials’ oath, coaches also swear to respect the Olympic ideals during the competition.

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YOG Singapore 2010, One Day to go: Swimming gets ready, Village gets busy

Youth Olympic Games

With one day to go for the Opening Ceremony of the 1st Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (SIN), the Swimming family held this Friday, August 13, its Team Leaders meeting before the start of the competition, to be held from August 15-20. The first motive of celebration relates with the very significant participation in the 34 swimming events – the 400 athletes allowed by the IOC quota for this discipline represent 153 National Olympic Committees.

In a meeting held in the Youth Olympic Village, team leaders and responsible for the many delegations present in Singapore, were briefed on the technical procedures surrounding the competition and were happy to know that the facility for Swimming – the Singapore Sports School – will provide optimal conditions for excellent performances. This is a venue well known by the FINA Family, as it hosts the annual leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup (in 25m-pool).

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First Youth Olympic Games medals unveiled!

Youth Olympic Games

As the athletes prepare for their arrival in Singapore, the first medals for the Youth Olympic Games were unveiled. Competition takes place between 15 and 26 August, where the best performing athletes will be awarded this specially designed medal. FINA will be represented in the disciplines of Swimming and Diving.

The obverse design was created by Setsuko Fukuzawa from Japan, winner of the Medal Design Competition held by the International Olympic Committee in the build-up to Singapore 2010. Her medal features the flames and waves, symbolising the Olympic spirit and the cheering of athletes. The Olympian’s body shaped in a ‘Y’ is reminiscent of Goddess Nike and stands for Youth, as referred to in the “Yes Youth Can” slogan, the name that Setsuko gave to her creation. The reverse side features the mythical lion synonymous with Singapore, and emblem for the Games, which represents the spirit of youth.

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