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PR67 - Short-course excitement starts this weekend in Belo Horizonte (BRA)

Top swimmers from around the world will make waves during the seven-stage FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 series starting this weekend in Belo Horizonte (BRA). And like in 2007, fans can access World Cup coverage of the finals via free LIVE streaming on the FINA website.

This renowned 25m competition steadily attracts some of the biggest names, who push their fitness and endurance to the limit to garner top-ranking performances each week. If successful, they win international acclaim and a cut of more than US$1,1 million in prize money for World Cup competitors (see Rules on www.fina.org for details).This weekend, the talents of Beijing Olympic champions Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia (gold 1500m free medallist), and Brazilian hero Cesar Cielo Filho (men's 50m free gold medallist) will be on-hand, as well as Sweden’s Therese Alshammar (women's 2007 World Cup winner) and Stefan Nystrand, the Americans Randall Bal (men's 2007 World Cup winner) and Tara Kirk, Australia’s Christian Sprenger and Sophie Edington, Evgeny Korotyshkin (Russia), Mandy Loots (South Africa) and more.Host cities for 2008 are the same as in 2007, although the order of meets has been altered. After the Brazil stop from October 10-12, the circuit goes to Durban (RSA) from October 17-18, Sydney (AUS) from October 25-26, Singapore (SIN) from November 1-2, Moscow (RUS) from November 8-9, Stockholm (SWE) from November 11-12, and the concluding meet in Berlin (GER) from November 15-16, 2008. This is the second year the World Cup calendar has been compacted to fit seven meets into a period of just five weeks in October-November. The new format allows athletes to stay focused on performing well during the Series at-hand, thus heightening the competition and the media attention it receives.The new scoring system of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup is based on points given in accordance with the value of performances registered in the FINA Points Table (updated July 1, 2008). The best performer of the meet receives 25 points, the second 20, and so on, with additional points awarded for a World Record and double points awarded in the last leg of the circuit (see Rules & Regulations for details). This system allows the suspense about the outcome of the overall World Cup to linger until the final meet. This major, elite-level competition – often the setting for world record performances - has been a success for nearly 20 years. Don’t miss the passion from this fall’s FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2008 by tuning in from around the world via LIVE streaming on www.fina.org.

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08Oct2008

PR66 - Another victory for Cleri and Ilchenko after 7th stage in Singapore

The second-last stage of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2008 series in Singapore on October 4 brought more gold to Valerio Cleri (ITA) and Larisa Ilchenko (RUS). This time however, Cleri had to share his victory with Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS), who tied him for first in a time of 2:09.20.25. All the winners in Singapore have been asserting themselves on this year’s circuit, especially Cleri, who now has a total of five 2008 World Cup gold medals and one bronze (he is the virtual winner of the Series, provided that he participates in the last leg in Cancun). With her success over the weekend, Ilchenko now has three gold medals and a silver to her credit, while Serebrennikov now has one gold to add to his two silver medals. In the men’s field, the biggest threat to Cleri and Serebrennikov was Mazen Mohamed Aziz (EGY), who took bronze only a second behind them in 2:09.21.08. With this result, Aziz has now earned a medal of every colour for his efforts during the 2008 World Cup season. Just out of medal-range was Yury Kudinov (RUS), who finished fourth with a time of 2:09.21.99. Among women, Olympic 10km champion Ilchenko had to contend with the likes of Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) and Angela Maurer (GER), who took the silver and bronze medals, respectively. All three touched within seconds of one another after powering home and racing for the win. With these minor medals, Cunha now has a one gold, one silver and one bronze, while the ever-strong Maurer has one gold, one silver and three bronzes for her 2008 World Cup season. The German now leads the overall ranking amongst women, and is in a good position to win the 2008 Series. THE MEDALLISTS MEN 1. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 2:09.20.25 1. Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS) 2:09.20.25 3. Mazen Mohamed Aziz (EGY) 2:09.21.08 WOMEN 1. Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) 2:16.22.00 2. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 2:16.25.09 3. Angela Maurer (GER) 2:16.27.32 The next, and final stage of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2008 series will take place on October 11, 2008 in Cancun, Mexico.

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06Oct2008

PR65 - Great visibility of FINA website during August and the Olympic Games

Strong interest in aquatics at the recent Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was demonstrated by high degrees of visits to the FINA website during the month of August. Statistics show the website experienced a total of 15,612,101 hits during the Olympic month, equaling 285,282 users. This equates to an average of almost 21,000 hits per hour, or almost 10,000 visits per day. On peak days however, hits per hour reached almost 70,000, and visits per day almost 21,500. The most noticeable period of increased activity was during the swimming programme of the Olympic Games from August 9-17. During these nine days, the FINA site registered a total of 7,712,148 hits, or 138,367 visits, which is almost half (48.5%) of the total visitor statistics registered for the month. The peak date, in fact, was August 11, 2008; the day of the epic men’s 4x100m freestyle Olympic final. The FINA site welcomed over 21,000 visitors that day, when veteran American swimmer Jason Lezak dethroned 100m freestyle world record holder Alain Bernard (FRA) in the last 50 metres of his leg with a stunning time of 46.06; the fastest in history. This feat not only anchored the USA quartet to the Olympic title, but also allowed Michael Phelps to continue his ultimately successful quest for eight gold medals. Swimming fever had arrived.Elevated traffic on the FINA site would continue for the remainder of the month and until the closing of the Olympic Games. These statistics are favourable and encouraging, as they are clear indicators of the level of global attention that is paid to the aquatic sports during the Games, and the importance of the FINA sports to the visibility of the Olympics worldwide.

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30Sep2008

PR64 - Golden haul for Cleri, Ilchenko, Kobrich after close races in Hong Kong and Shantou

Some heavyweights of the international open water scene were on-hand for two Asian stages of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2008, which took place in Hong Kong (HKG) on Sunday, September 28 and Shantou (CHN) on Sunday, September 21, 2008. Most recently, the races in Hong Kong featured high-level competition and extraordinarily close finishes among both men and women. Among men, Valerio Cleri (ITA) defeated Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS) and Allan do Carmo (BRA) by one second. Egypt’s rising talent Mazen Aziz was 4th by a fingernail when he touched the wall just one second ahead of the 5th-placed Russian swimming great, Yury Kudinov.
Among women in Hong Kong, the winner was the first female Olympic champion in marathon swimming, Larisa Ilchenko (RUS). She faced pressure however, from Chile’s Kristel Kobrich, who took silver three seconds behind. Bronze went to Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), but only after a razor-thin defeat of 4th-place Alice Franco (ITA). In 5th and 6th respectively were German open water stars Angela Maurer and Britta Kamrau-Corestein.MEDALLISTSMen 1. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 1:46:17               2. Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS) 1:46:18           3. Allan Carmo (BRA) 1:46:22
Women1. Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) 1:52:152. Kristel Kobrich (CHI) 1:52:183. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 1:52:24The top-five male finishers in Shantou (CHN) stage were the same as those in Hong Kong, except in a different order. Occupying the top of the podium again was Cleri, but his biggest opposition in the Shantou race was Aziz, who took silver. The bronze went again to Do Carmo, while Russia’s Kudinov and Serebrennikov took 4th and 5th respectively. Among women during the race in Shantou, it was Kobrich who registered a clean win over Ilchenko, with times of 2:10:49.77 to 2:10:53.40 respectively. The bronze that day was reserved for Maurer, with Franco and Kamrau-Corestein taking 4th and 5th. This time Cunha had to settle for 6th.MEDALLISTSMen 1. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 2:06:58                2. Mazen Mohamed Aziz 2:07:03            3. Allan Carmo (BRA) 2:07:05
Women1. Kristel Kobrich (CHI) 2:10:492. Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) 2:10:533. Angela Maurer (GER) 2:10:55These races were the 5th and 6th out of eight stages that comprise the 2008 World Cup circuit. The next race will be held on October 4, 2008 in Singapore (SIN).

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29Sep2008

PR63 - World’s best young divers descend on Aachen, Germany

From September 16-21, 2008, the best young divers from around the world will gather at the Schwimmhalle West in Aachen, Germany for the 17th FINA World Junior Diving Championships. Approximately 220 divers from 40 countries will participate, with boys and girls competing in both “B” (born 1993/1994) and “A” (born 1990/1991/1992) categories. The event programme includes 3m springboard, 1m springboard, platform, and 3m synchro. The German Swimming Federation (Deutscher SchwimmVerband e.V.) is staging the event, in conjunction with local organiser “SV Neptun Aachen Club”, which is welcoming the international diving community for a second time, as the 14th FINA Junior Diving World Championships in 2002 was also held in Aachen under SV Neptun. The experience and support of the Aachen Organising Committee guarantees a high-quality competition in an exciting environment.The FINA World Junior Diving Championships assumes a special importance in the context of the development of diving. It reveals new talents, brings more youth to the FINA sport environment, and contributes to the reinforcement of clean and friendly competition. From these Championships, diving enthusiasts get an exclusive sneak-peak at the diving greats of tomorrow, as well as an indication of which countries, aside from those which are already dominant, are building strong diving programmes for the future.This year, the established diving nations are well-represented, including Australia (10 divers), Canada and USA (16 divers each), Mexico (13 divers), Cuba (3), Sweden (6), Italy (7), Great Britain (8), Russia (with 17 divers), the power-house China (15), and of course the host Germany, which will have 12 divers in action. But the competition also welcomes young athletes from countries such as Armenia, Iran, Kuwait, Macedonia, Monaco, Cyprus, Ecuador, Guam, and many more.

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15Sep2008

PR62 - FINA Unannounced out-of-competition tests

FINA is pleased to announce that has conducted from January-July 2008 a total number of 890 unannounced out-of-competition tests on 621 athletes from the five aquatic disciplines.All these tests were negative.

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29Aug2008

PR61 - All swimming doping tests were negative

FINA is pleased to announce that all the doping tests made at the swimming competition (August 9-17, 2008) of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing (CHN) were negative.The detail of the tests was as follows:216 – control of urine103 – for detection of EPO24 – control of blood.

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25Aug2008

PR60 - FINA - A new logo for a new era

The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) will step into a new Century of leadership with a fresh look. As of January 2009 and the completion of its 100th Anniversary celebrations, FINA will launch a new logo that embraces both the mark of the Centenary brand, and presents the Federation with a strong, modern image. As a result, FINA will march forward with a recharged identity, signified by a logo symbolising longevity and tradition, but also universality and a dynamic vision for the future guidance of Aquatic sports. Essentially, the 2009 identity retains the trademark FINA image, but in a more vibrant manner.
It is not by accident that the new FINA logo bears such a resemblance to the Centenary logo. FINA celebrated the milestone of 100 years of world Aquatic governance in 2008 with great pride. It was also a fitting occasion to honour the Federation’s accomplishments since 1908 by launching a special FINA Centenary logo, which has been widely used since January 2008. Stemming from this specific, commemorative brand is the new standard FINA logo, which will therefore continue to represent FINA’s longstanding position in the international sports movement by its association with the Centenary celebrations.

The concepts behind the revised FINA logo are logical and intended to strengthen the global association of FINA with high-class competitions, elite athletes, ethics, and international sports management and development. The unchanged FINA mark, as the largest part of the logo, is clear and instantly recognisable. The globes reflect the worldwide composition of the FINA organisational structure. The five golden stars represent FINA’s multifaceted nature: its five disciplines, the five continents it covers, its “star athletes”; while the wave alignment of the stars links FINA and the globes and elicits a dynamic, water-like movement. Finally, the tag-line “Water is Our World”, reinforces FINA’s mission with a simple, self-explanatory phrase.Launch and distribution of the FINA brand will take place in January 2009, at the end of Centenary celebrations. The new logo will be used worldwide, in all forms of media where FINA is represented and promoted, and by all partners, institutions, sponsors, organising committees and other partners affiliated with FINA. There will be a variety of versions of the logo available for custom applications and events, in order to ensure collective incorporation of the new FINA brand around the world.
> FINA Corporate Identity

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19Aug2008

PR59 - FINA Bureau Meeting

The third 2008 FINA Bureau Meeting took place in Beijing (CHN) on the occasion of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The main decisions were:-    Two new National Federations became FINA members – Afghanistan and British Virgin Islands. The total number of FINA Federations is now of 197;-    Approval of the competition programme for the 13th FINA World Championships Rome 2009;-    Approval of the rules and calendar of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup and FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix in 2009;-    National Federations organising the following events:

o    8th FINA Junior Women’s Water Polo Championships 2009 – RUSSIA (city to be decided)o    3rd FINA Junior World Swimming Championships 2010 – PERU (Lima)o    14th FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup 2010 – ROMANIA (Oradea)o    12th FINA Junior Synchronised Swimming World Championships 2010 – USA (city to be decided)o    2nd FINA World Men’s Water Polo Development Trophy 2009 – SRI LANKA (Colombo)

-    Approval of a FINA Extraordinary Congress to be held on the occasion of the 13th FINA World Championships in July 2009 in Rome (ITA). The Agenda of this Congress will only include issues regarding Masters rules;-    Nomination of Mr. Pedro Adrega as new Honorary Secretary of the FINA Press Commission;-    Acknowledgement of the excellent participation figures at the Olympic Games in Beijing: 164 countries have sent 1043 swimmers, 50 marathon swimmers, 145 divers, 104 synchronised swimmers and 260 water polo players.

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14Aug2008

PR58 - Clear victories for Stoychev and Biller on Lac Memphrémagog (CAN)

The eighth race of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 2008 took place on Saturday, August 2, when 21 swimmers took to the water of Lac Memphrémagog in the Canadian province of Québec. The course was 34km, and the event doubled as the 30th Anniversary of the annual Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog open water (OW) swim. In the men’s field, the great Petar Stoychev (BUL) won cleanly, finishing about a minute ahead of the silver medallist, Mazen Aziz (EGY). Stefanie Biller (GER), winner of the women’s race, was even more dominant. She finished about four-and-a-half minutes ahead of another notable German swimmer, Britta Kamrau-Corestein. THE MEDALLISTSMEN

1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 7h27m25s2. Mazen Aziz (EGY) 7h28m10s3. Brendan Capell (AUS) 7h28m13s

WOMEN

1. Stefanie Biller (GER) 7h37m59s2. Britta Kamrau-Corestein (GER) 7h42m29s3. Natalya Pankina (RUS) 7h53m43s

This win for Stoychev represents the eighth time he has won this event on Lac Memphrémagog. Also, with one competition left to go in the 2008 Grand Prix season, Stoychev leads the men’s rankings, having already won an incredible five stages of this Series. The bronze medal for Capell will also boost his ranking to retain his place in the top-three, as he took bronze in Race 5 (Sabac, SRB) before earning two silvers in Race’s 6 and 7 (Ohrid, MKD and Lac St.Jean, CAN). Among women, Pankina’s bronze represents a slight decline in her performance, considering she leads the women’s rankings having won four Races in the 2008 Grand Prix Series so far, as well as a silver medal in Stage 4 at Capri-Napoli (ITA) on July 5. The win for Biller however, is a nice result, solidifying her place as one of the leading athletes in this Series, having taken bronze in Leg 4 and Leg 7, and gold on July 19 at Ohrid Lake (MKD, Race 6). Meanwhile, a silver for Kamrau-Corestein is a reminder not to underestimate her experience. She took gold in Stage 4 and bronze in Sabac on July 13, meaning she will finish 2008 with a Grand Prix medal of every colour. The last race of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 2008 will be held October 18 in Sumidero (MEX).

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04Aug2008

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