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On July 19, 2018 FINA celebrates its 110th anniversary! To appropriately mark this important milestone, we will evoke, from tomorrow April 1, 110 highlights that contributed to FINA’s successful history. Each day, for 110 days, we will recall heroes, curiosities, milestones, or just important facts that helped building FINA’s strength. Happy Birthday FINA!
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Michael Phelps (USA) is the best Olympian in history (all sports included), with a total of 28 Swimming medals in the Games, from 2004 to 2016. These include: 2004 (Athens, GRE), 6 gold, 2 bronze; 2008 (Beijing, CHN), 8 gold; 2012 (London, GBR), 4 gold, 2 silver; 2016 (Rio, BRA), 5 gold, 1 silver.
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High Diving is the newest Aquatic discipline in the FINA programme: it was included for the first time at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona (ESP). Two events are since then contested: men’s 27m and women’s 20m. An annual World Cup completes the FINA programme in this discipline.
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Mustapha Larfaoui, from Algeria, was the longest serving President in FINA’s history. He was elected at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul (KOR) and left the FINA leadership at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome (ITA), completing 21 years at the helm of our International Federation. He is currently FINA Honorary Life President.
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Water Polo is the oldest team sport in the Olympic programme: it made its appearance at the 1900 Games in Paris (FRA), only with the participation of club teams. The women’s competition was included at the 2000 Olympic in Sydney. At the Tokyo 2020 rendezvous, the men’s tournament will be contested by 12 teams, and the women’s by 10 squads.
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“Butterfly” is swimming’s most recent stroke. It derives from “breaststroke” (it was initially called “butterfly-breaststroke”) and made its first Olympic appearance at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne (AUS). The first champions were William Yorzyk (USA, 200m fly in 2:19.3) and Shelley Mann (USA, 100m fly in 1:11.0).
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The first edition of the FINA World Championships took place in 1973, in Belgrade, capital of the former Yugoslavia. Initially held every four years, it became a bi-annual rendezvous since the 2001 edition. The list of hosts includes: Belgrade (YUG, 1973), Cali (COL, 1975), Berlin (FRG, 1978), Guayaquil (ECU, 1982), Madrid (ESP, 1986), Perth (AUS, 1991 and 1998), Rome (ITA, 1994 and 2009), Fukuoka (JPN, 2001), Barcelona (ESP, 2003 and 2013), Montreal (CAN, 2005), Melbourne (AUS, 2007), Shanghai (CHN, 2011), Kazan (RUS, 2015) and Budapest (HUN, 2017).
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China’s supremacy in Diving is relatively recent. It all started with the first Olympic title in 1984, when Zhou Jihong was the best in the women’s 10m platform at the Los Angeles Games. Since then, she has become the mentor of the Chinese diving team and is currently a FINA Bureau Member and President of China Swimming Association.
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Officially, Marathon Swimming made its Olympic appearance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (CHN). But did you know that the Swimming competitions at in first three editions of the Games were all contested in an “open water” environment – bay of Piraeus in Athens 1896, Seine River in Paris 1900, Forest Park Lake in St. Louis 1904?
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For the first and only time so far in the history of the FINA World Championships, the women’s 200m breaststroke produced five medallists in Kazan 2015: gold for Kanako Watanabe (JPN), silver for Micah Lawrence (USA), and bronze for Jessica Vall (ESP), Rikke Pedersen (DEN) and Shi Jinglin (CHN)!