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PR77 - Seven Cities/NF are potential bidders

Seven Cities/National Federations expressed their interest in organising the 15th FINA World Championships, to be held in 2013: Belgrade (SRB), Budapest & Belatonfüred (HUN), Dubai (UAE), Hamburg (GER), Hong Kong, China (HKG), Madrid (ESP) and Moscow (RUS). FINA will organise on December 4, 2008 in Lausanne (SUI) an information meeting with representatives of these potential bidders concerning the organisation of the Championships (comprising the five FINA aquatic disciplines: swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming and open water swimming). Among others, items such as Venues, Budget, TV Production, Accommodation, Transportation, Commercial Programmes or Participation will be discussed in this meeting.Also in accordance with the published Milestones for the organisation of these Championships, the deadline for the presentation of a formal final bid is March 2, 2009. Finally, the decision on the organiser for this competition will be taken by the FINA Bureau on July 18, 2009 on the occasion of the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome (ITA).The 14th FINA World Championships in 2011 will take place in Shanghai (CHN) from July 16-31.

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04Nov2008

PR76 - World Cup Record for Hurley (AUS) in Singapore

Robert Hurley (AUS) was one of the brightest stars in the fourth leg of the FINA /ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 held in Singapore (SIN) on November 1-2, by establishing a new World Cup Record in the men’s 100m backstroke. Hurley, who had set a World Record in the 50m backstroke in the third meet of the circuit in Sydney, swam the 100m in 50.28, bettering the previous World Cup best mark (50.58) obtained by Thomas Rupprath (GER) in 2002. Besides Hurley, the men’s competition was dominated by Oussama Mellouli (TUN), who got four more victories – 200m, 400m and 1500m free, as well as the 400m individual medley – in this year’s World Cup. The Tunisian Olympic champion in the 1500m free has now an accumulated total of 18 wins from the four legs of the competition. Stefan Nystrand (SWE) was the fastest man in Singapore, winning the 50m and 100m free, while two more swimmers also got a ‘double’ – Thiago Pereira (BRA) excelled in the 100m and 200m individual medley, while Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) triumphed in the 50m and 100m breaststroke. In the shorter distance, Van der Burgh got the highest performance in Singapore (1022 points for his 26.37 finish time). In the men’s overall ranking, Christian Sprenger (AUS, seventh best performer in Singapore) is still the leader (60 points), just in front of his team mates Hurley (56) and Matt Jaukovic (52). In the women’s field, Marieke Guehrer (AUS) continues to dominate the operations and was for a fourth consecutive time the best scorer of the meet. In Singapore, she won the 50m butterfly in 25.56, getting 999 points. In the overall ranking, she reinforced her lead, having now accumulated 100 points. In terms of victories in the Asian leg of this World Cup, Katheryn Meaklim (RSA) was the best in the 200m and 400m individual medley, while the ‘club’ of the double gold medallists also included Melissa Ingram (NZL, 400m free and 200m backstroke) and Sophie Edington (AUS, 50m and 100m backstroke).

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03Nov2008

PR75 - Singapore sets the stage this weekend as the Cup reaches Asia

FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 action is in full swing and when the 4th stage takes place this weekend (November 1-2), Singapore will be the setting. The Asian leg will certainly be a exciting extension of last weekend, when the 3rd leg was held in Sydney and two new world records were broken by Australians Matt Jaukovic and Robert Hurley in the men’s 50m butterfly (22.50) and men’s 50m backstroke (23.24) respectively. Both will compete again in Singapore, as will their compatriots who currently lead the overall men’s and women’s World Cup rankings – Christian Sprenger (55 points) and Marieke Guehrer (75 points). Joining these heavyweights will be Tunisian golden boy Oussama Mellouli, Americans Tara Kirk, Kara Lynn Joyce, Randall Bal and Peter Marshall, and South Africa’s Melissa Corfe, Cameron van der Burgh, William Diering and Kathryn Meaklim (currently 2nd overall amongst women in the World Cup ranking). The third-ranked woman, Therese Alshammar (SWE), who is trying to defend her Cup title from 2007, will swim, as will her compatriot and sprint powerhouse Stefan Nystrand. Brazil’s Fabiola Molina and Thiago Pereira will swim, as will Australian Beijing Olympians Sally Foster, Sophie Edington, Ashley Delaney, Nicholas Frost and Bronte Barratt. Several young stars will join the fray, including Daniel Bell (NZL) and Marco Koch (GER). Bell won three gold medals at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in July, while Koch took home duel silvers from that event in the breaststroke events. A legend will also attend – Slovakia’s quadruple Olympian Martina Moravcova, who clinched two silver medals from the Sydney 2000 Games in the 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle. Additionally, European backstroke record holder Anastasia Zueva and her Russian counterpart Evgeny Korotyshkin will participate. This is only the second year in the event’s 20-year history that the calendar has been compacted to fit seven meets into a period of five weeks. Fans are reminded they can access Cup coverage of the finals via free LIVE streaming on the FINA website, and witness some of the best test their endurance in an effort to win acclaim and prize money.

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30Oct2008

PR74 - First WR of the series for Jaukovic and Hurley in Sydney (AUS)

Matt Jaukovic and Robert Hurley, both from Australia, were the swimmers in evidence during the third leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 on October 25-26 in Sydney (AUS), by establishing respectively the World Records in the men’s 50m butterfly and men’s 50m backstroke. Jaukovic clocked 22.50 in the butterfly event, improving by 0.1 the former World Record held by Kaio Almeida (BRA) since December 2005. With this result, the Australian swimmer got the best performance of the meet (1039 points). Hurley was also brilliant in the backstroke event, touching in 23.24, 0.03 faster than the former WR established in December 2004 by Thomas Rupprath (GER). In the men’s field, Oussama Mellouli (TUN) continued his winning saga of the series by getting eight gold medals – 200m, 400m and 1500m free, and the three (100m, 200m and 400m) medley events. Christian Sprenger, from Australia, triumphed in the breaststroke distances and reinforced his lead of the overall rankings (he has now 55 points).Among women, Katheryn Meaklim (RSA) was the only one obtaining five victories in the 800m free, 200m breaststroke, 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley. The dominator of the series so far, Australian Marieke Guehrer was the best in three events (100m free, 50m and 100m butterfly), getting the highest women’s performance in Sydney in the 50m butterfly (time of 25.46 for 1011 points). With this result, she is now the clear leader of the ranking, with 75 points – she was the best performer in the three meets contested so far. Her team mate Emily Seebohm was also in great shape in the Olympic Aquatic Centre in Sydney, with triumphs in the 50m and 100m backstroke, as well as in the 100m individual medley. Australia was the most winning country in Sydney, with a total of 21 gold medals out of the 34 at stake.

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27Oct2008

PR73 - Many a champion ready to compete as the Cup reaches Sydney (AUS)

Sydney hosts the action from the seven-stage FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 this weekend, where the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre will become an elite 25m showcase. Fans are reminded they can access Cup coverage of the finals via free LIVE streaming on the FINA website, and witness some of the best test their endurance in an effort to win acclaim and prize money. It is most suitable that swimming powerhouse Australia takes a turn staging the Cup this time, as two of their own – Christian Sprenger and Marieke Guehrer - currently lead the overall World Cup ranking. Sprenger’s top-rank results from his formidable breaststroke skills, demonstrated by a Durban (RSA) win over the 50m in 26.45 to garner 1013 points - the highest tally earned in the Series so far. Before that, in Belo Horizonte (BRA) he won the 100m, among other races, in 58.19 (981 points). In Sydney however, he faces fellow Olympian Brenton Rickard (AUS). Guehrer meanwhile, maintained her lead from Brazil by again obtaining the best female performance in Durban with a 50m butterfly victory in 25.56 (999 points). For Guehrer (AUS) this World Cup is the continuation of a reinvigorated season. A teenage Athens 2004 Olympian, now, at 22, she has re-emerged with force having moved a year ago from Brisbane to Melbourne and new coaching.This year’s Cup has already welcomed Beijing Olympic 1500m champion Oussama Mellouli (TUN) and Cesar Cielo Filho (BRA, men's 50m free gold medallist), Tara Kirk (USA), Evgeny Korotyshkin and Stanislav Donets (RUS), as well as Mandy Loots, William Diering, Cameron van der Burgh, and Jessica Pengelly (RSA). Alshammar, Nystrand, and Lillhage (SWE) are back, and so is Bal (USA). At home this weekend, Beijing Olympians such as Barratt Bronte, Leith Brodie, Cate Campbell, Ashley Delaney, Felicity Galvez, Belinda Hocking, Kirk Palmer and Emily Seebohm hit the blocks, as well as newcomer Ellen Fullerton.

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24Oct2008

PR72 - Petar Stoychev (BUL): overall winner for the 8th consecutive time!

Petar Stoychev (BUL) is the overall winner of the 2008 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix for the eighth consecutive year, after his first victory in the series in 2001! In the last event of this season, in Sumidero (Chiapas, Mexico), the Bulgarian champion did not finish the 15km-race, but his advance in the general rankings was enough to secure another win in the Series, with a total of 126 points. In 2008, Stoychev got six wins out of the nine races in the programme – since 1999, he has now an accumulated number of 43 victories -, and was followed by Brendan Capell (AUS, 89 points, sixth in Mexico) and Stéphane Gomez (FRA, 84 points, fourth in Chiapas). Among women, Natalia Pankina (RUS) closed her brilliant 2008 season with a sixth place in Mexico and the triumph in the overall ranking (110 points) – the Russian star won four races during this year’s circuit. She was followed by Germany’s Stefanie Biller (99) and Spain’s Esther Nuñez Morera (winner in 2007) with 85 points. 2008 GENERAL RANKING & PRIZE MONEYMEN1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) / 126 pts / US$ 15,0002. Brendan Capell (AUS) / 89 pts / US$ 10,0003. Stéphane Gomez (FRA) / 84 pts / US$  5,000WOMEN1. Natalia Pankina (RUS) / 110 pts / US$ 15,0002. Stefanie Biller (GER) / 99 pts / US$ 10,0003. Esther Nuñez Morera (ESP) / 85 pts / US$ 5,000On October 18, 2008 in Sumidero, the men’s race was a tough fight between five swimmers. In the end, Ivan Lopez (MEX) got his first win of the year, finishing in 3h13m52s. Russia’s Daniil Serebrennikov (bronze medallist in the fifth race of the season in Sabac) got silver after touching less than one second behind Lopez and Damian Blaum (ARG) was third, half a second slower than the Russian. The women’s race was not so close, with Germany’s Britta Kamrau-Corestein winning in 3h18m25s, followed by Alejandra Gonzalez (MEX, five minutes slower) and Esther Nuñez Morera (ESP) in 3h24m36s. MEDALLISTS in SumideroMEN: 1. Ivan Lopez (MEX) 3h13m52s; 2. Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS) 3h13m53s40; 3. Damian Blaum (ARG)    3h13m53s97WOMEN: 1. Britta Kamrau-Corestein (GER) 3h18m25s; 2. Alejandra Gonzalez (MEX) 3h23m18s; 3. Esther Nuñez Morera (ESP) 3h24m36s

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20Oct2008

PR71 - 2nd leg in Durban: Mellouli with five wins, Guehrer again the best

Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli (TUN) was the swimmer in evidence during the second leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 in Durban (RSA) after winning five races in the two-day competition (October 17-18). The 1500m free gold medallist in Beijing also triumphed in the longest event of the programme in South Africa, adding four more victories in the 200m and 400m free, as well as in the 200m and 400m individual medley. Also in the men’s field, South African Cameron Van Der Burgh was the best in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, having established the best meet’s performance in the shorter distance (in a time of 26.45 and 1013 points). He is now behind Australia’s Christian Sprenger (gold in the 200m breaststroke), who obtained the second best result of the competition as silver medallist of the 50m breaststroke (26.74 and 980 points). Sprenger, the best in Belo Horizonte (the first leg of the circuit) now leads the overall ranking with 45 points, while Burgh has 25. Randall Bal (USA), winner of the 50m and 100m backstroke in Durban is third with 23 points.Among women, Brazilian Fabiola Molina won three races – 50m and 100m backstroke, and the 100m individual medley -, but Australia’s Marieke Guehrer confirmed the good indication given in Brazil and also obtained the best women’s performance in Durban. Guehrer scored 999 points for her victory in the 50m butterfly, clocking 25.56. She now leads the overall ranking with 50 points. Behind her, Therese Alshammar (SWE), the winner in 2007, is second with 29 points. In Durban, Alshammar won the 50m free in 24.46, but got her best performance as silver medallist of the 50m butterfly (25.80 for 971 points). Her compatriot Josefin Lillhage (two gold in Durban) is third with 27 points.Like in Belo Horizonte, the South African meet was dominated by the local swimmers, who obtained 56 medals (including 15 gold).

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20Oct2008

PR70 - Second stage unfolds in Durban (RSA) this weekend

Short-course action from the seven-stage FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 series continues this weekend when the second leg is held from October 17-18 in Durban (RSA) at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre. Fans can access World Cup coverage of the finals via free LIVE streaming on the FINA website, as some of the world’s best continue testing their endurance in an effort to win lucrative prize money. The top-ranked swimmers after stage one, which took place in Belo Horizonte (BRA) last weekend, are Australian Beijing Olympian Christian Sprenger, who had three breaststroke wins including the best male performance of the competition for the 100m (58.19 to garner 981 points), and fellow Australian Marieke Guehrer, the Athens Olympian who won three races including the best female performance for the 50m butterfly (25.63 for 991 points). Both will be back in action in Durban to try and retain their overall winning rank and secure the US$100,000 prize that will be awarded to the World Cup winners.Stars appearing this weekend include home favourites Kathryn Meaklim and Mandy Loots, as well as recent Olympians Melissa Corfe, Wesley Gilchrist, Darian Townsend, Jessica Pengelly, Cameron Van der Burgh, Suzaan Van Biljon, William Diering and Chad Ho. Olympians Sophie Edington (AUS), Fabiola Molina (BRA), Maxim Ganikhin (RUS) and Evgeny Aleshin (RUS) will compete, as well as Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand and Josefin Lillhage, Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli (TUN), and 2007 World Cup winners Randall Bal (USA) and Therese Alshammar (SWE). This is only the second year in the event’s 20-year history that the calendar has been compacted to fit seven meets into a period of just five weeks in October and November. The new format allows athletes to stay focused on performing well during the Series at-hand, thus heightening the competition and generating increased media attention. The competition will unfold as follows:Belo Horizonte (BRA): October 10-12, 2008 Durban (RSA): October 17-18, 2008 Sydney (AUS): October 25-26, 2008 Singapore (SIN): November 1-2, 2008 Moscow (RUS): November 8-9, 2008Stockholm (SWE):  November 11-12, 2008Berlin (GER): November 15-16, 2008

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15Oct2008

PR69 - Olympians Lurz and Ilchenko win in Cancun; final rankings revealed

The 2008 edition of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup wrapped up on Saturday, October 11 in Cancun (MEX) with wins for Beijing Olympic medallists Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) and Thomas Lurz (GER). Although the races were close, the winners for both men and women finished cleanly, with all medallists touching home between one and three seconds behind each other. Completion of the Cancun stage also revealed the overall winners of the FINA 10km World Cup 2008. The powerful and experienced Angela Maurer (GER) is this year’s top-ranked swimmer, after having participated and made the podium in almost every World Cup race on offer this season. Behind her and ranked second is Ilchenko, who continues to have a great year after making history in Beijing by becoming first female Olympic champion over 10km. Ranking third is Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil, who picked up three medals while completing a respectable series of 2008 World Cup races.Among men the big winner is Valerio Cleri (ITA), whose excellent overall World Cup performance allowed him to climb the podium for most races on this year’s circuit, and mostly for the gold. The legendary Yuri Kudinov (RUS) continues to assert his strength on an international stage by ranking second overall, while ranking third is Egypt’s latest open water swimming sensation - Mazen Aziz. OVERALL RANKING & PRIZE MONEYMEN1. Valerio Cleri (ITA) – US$ 15,0002. Yuri Kudinov (RUS) – US$ 10,0003. Mazen Aziz (EGY) – US$ 5,000WOMEN1. Angela Maurer (GER) – US$ 15,0002. Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) – US$ 10,0003. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) – US$ 5,000Race Overview, Cancun (MEX), October 11 – 8th and final stageIn the women’s race, Ilchenko won in a time of 2:02:04, with Germany’s Angela Maurer taking second in 2:02:05 and Britta Kamrau-Corestein (GER) third in 2:02:06. Placing fourth was Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha in 2:02:08. These results give Ilchenko three victories on the 2008 World Cup circuit, as well as the silver she earned in Shantou (CHN) on September 21. Maurer has accumulated two gold medals, a silver medal, and three bronze medals. Finally, Kamrau-Corestein can add her Cancun bronze to the silver medal she earned at Lac St. Jean (CAN) on July 24. The men’s race was a nice win for Lurz in 1:52:23. He overcame the home favourite Ivan Lopez (MEX), who took second in 1:52:24, as well as another Russian, Daniil Serebrennikov, who took the bronze in 1:52:27. With this win, the Olympic 10km bronze medallist Lurz has earned three medals this Series, having taken gold in the Dubai race in mid-March and silver in Portugal on June 28. Serebrennikov meanwhile, added a bronze to his three silvers he garnered from previous stages. Valerio Cleri (ITA), who won the last three stages of the 10km World Cup, had to settle for fourth this time in 1:52:31.056.

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13Oct2008

PR68 - Olympic champions shine in Belo Horizonte (BRA)

Cesar Cielo Filho (BRA) and Oussama Mellouli (TUN), the two Olympic champions participating in the first meet of the 2008 FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup that took place in Belo Horizonte (BRA) from October 10-12, did not disappoint the thousands of spectators present at the Minas Tenis Clube. Cielo Filho, the local hero after winning the men’s 50m free in Beijing, got two victories, also in the shorter distance of the programme, and in the 100m free. Mellouli, the Olympic 1500m champion, obtained three gold medals in Brazil – men’s 200m free, 1500m free and 400m individual medley. Amongst men, the Australian Christian Sprenger was the ‘Most Valuable Swimmer’ of the meet, with three breaststroke wins and the best male performance of the competition with 981 points in the 100m (58.19). Randall Bal (USA), the 2007 overall winner of the Series, won the 50m and 200m backstroke, while Thiago Pereira (BRA) was the best in the 100m and 200m individual medley.In the women’s field, Katheryn Meaklim, from South Africa, was the most golden winner of the meet with four victories – 400m and 800m free, as well as the 200m and 400m individual medley. On the Australian side, Marieke Guehrer was fastest in three races (100m free, 50m and 100m butterfly), having established the best female performance of the competition in the 50m butterfly (25.63, corresponding to 991 points). Fabiola Molina (BRA), despite her 33 years of age, continues to shine at the highest level, with three triumphs in front of the home crowd – 50m and 100m backstroke, 100m individual medley. In the medal chart, Brazil led the operations with 11 gold medals, followed by Australia (six) and USA and South Africa (both countries with five victories).

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13Oct2008

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