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PR11 - Incredible triple for Petar Stoychev (BUL) and Natalia Pankina (RUS)

On Saturday, February 16, during the Argentinean race at La Patagones-Viedma, a 15km event and the third race of the 2008 series of the 2nd FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (former FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup), the Russian Natalia Pankina, in the women’s race, and the Bulgarian Petar Stoychev, in the men’s event, obtained their third 2008 victory, which is also the third in a row for the current Grand Prix Series.

Medallists in Viedma Men – 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 2h42m19s; 2. Andrea Volpini (ITA) 2h42m28s27; 3. Rodolfo Valenti (ITA) 2h42m28s59 Women – 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS) 2h44m22s; 2. Annegret Braun (GER) 2h46m35s; 3. Marianela Mendoza (ARG) 3h00m36s GENERAL STANDING AFTER THREE RACES WOMEN 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS) 45 pts; 2. Esther Nunez (ESP) 18 pts; 3. Alessandra Romiti (ITA) and Laura La Piana (ITA) 14 pts MEN 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 45 pts; 2. Damian Blaum (ARG) et Stéphane Gomez (FRA) 25 pts THE 2008 FINA OPEN WATER SWIMMING GRAND PRIX (GP) in few lines Dates & Sites (1) Race GP No 1 - February 3, 2008 - Maraton Acuatica Rio Coronda in Santa Fe (ARG), 57km (2) Race GP No 2 - February 9, 2008 - Rosario (ARG), 15km (3) Race GP No 3 - February 16, 2008 - Viedma (ARG), 15km (4) Race GP No 4 - July 6, 2008 - Marathon del Golfo Capri-Napoli (ITA), 36km (5) Race GP No 5 - July 13, 2008 - Sabac Swim Marathon (SRB), 19 km (6) Race GP No 6 - July 19, 2008- Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon (MKD), 30km (7) Race GP No 7 - July 26, 2008 - Traversée Internationale du Lac St. Jean, Roberval (CAN), 32km (8) Race GP No 8 - August 2, 2008 - Traversée Internationale du Lac Magog (CAN), 34km (9) Race GP No 9 – September 28, 2008 - XVII Sumidero Canyon Swimming Marathon in Chiapas (MEX), 15km 2008 MEN’S PODIUMS (1) 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL); 2. Stéphane Gomez (FRA); 3. Damian Blaum (ARG) (2) 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL); 2. Stéphane Gomez (FRA); 3. Damian Blaum (ARG) (3) 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL); 2. Andrea Volpini (ITA); 3. Rodolfo Valenti (ITA) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) 2008 WOMEN’S PODIUMS (1) 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS); 2. Edith Van Dijk (NED); 3. Laura La Piana (ITA) (2) 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS); 2. Esther Nuñez (ESP); 3. Alessandra Romiti (ITA) (3) 1. Natatlia Pankina (RUS); 2. Annegret Braun (GER); 3. Marianela Mendoza (ARG) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)

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PR10 - ‘Water is Our World’ will be the motto of the FINA Centenary

The first meeting of the FINA Bureau in 2008 took place in Lausanne (SUI) on February 7-8 and approved a Message (see attached) on ‘Water and Environmental protection’ within the frame of the celebration of the FINA Centenary in 2008. This Message will be spread out to all the FINA 194 National Member Federations, clubs, athletes, officials, organisers, media and public at large throughout the year of 2008. Other topics discussed by the FINA Bureau were as follows:

-    approval of the proposal for changes in the FINA Rules to be presented at the FINA Extraordinary Congress, to be held on April 8, 2008 in Manchester (GBR);-    allocation of FINA competitions:

o    3rd FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy 2008 – Madrid (ESP, December 6-7)o    4th FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy 2009 – Montreal (CAN, dates to be confirmed)o    15th FINA Junior Men’s Water Polo World Championships 2009 – Split and Sibenik (CRO, August 22-30)o    15th FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup 2010 – Wellington (NZL, dates to be confirmed)o    12th FINA Synchronised Swimming World Cup 2010 – Changshu (CHN, September 16-19)o    18th FINA World Diving Junior Championships 2010 – Tucson (USA, September 2-6)o    13th FINA World Masters Championships 2010 – Göteborg and Boras (SWE, July 28-August 7)

-    acknowledgement of the positive financial outcome of the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne (AUS): the event brought a AUS$105 million impact to the local economy and allowed the creation of 660 jobs. Moreover, a new record of 219,317 spectators attended the championships, while the competition was seen by over a billion TV viewers worldwide;-    encouraging reports were received from the organisers of the upcoming main championships, which will be successfully delivered according to high FINA standards: 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Manchester 2008 (April 9-13), 12th FINA World Masters Championships Perth 2008 (April 17-25), 5th FINA Open Water Swimming Championships Seville 2008 (May 3-8), 2nd FINA World Youth Swimming Championships Monterrey 2008 (July 8-13), 13th FINA World Championships Rome 2009 (July 19-August 2), 10th FINA World Swimming Championships Dubai 2010 (April 7-11), 14th FINA World Championships Shanghai 2011 (July 16-31);-    presentation, by the Organising Committee (BOCOG), of the latest report concerning the preparation of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (CHN). In this regard, FINA praised the excellent work done so far by BOCOG and underlined the high quality of the venues where the FINA aquatic competitions will take place;-    attribution of FINA awards:

o    FINA Prize – Mr. John Devitt (AUS)o    FINA Gold Pin – Mr. Yury Zaytsev (RUS)o    FINA Silver Pin – Dr David J. Hunt (GBR)o    FINA Certificate of Merit – Mr. Alexandr Tudose (MDA), Mr. Grigoriy Bukakov (UZB) and Mr. Alexander Gnedovskiy (UZB)

To launch its Centenary Year 1908-2008, the members of the FINA Bureau wish to address the serious demand for the protection of water and the environment facing the world today
In 1908, on the occasion of the Olympic Games in London (GBR), when the delegates of eight countries decided to establish FINA, the quality, scarcity and the protection of water was not on the agenda.One hundred years later, as we commence the year-long FINA Centenary Celebrations, and look forward to developing our Federation and our sports and paying tribute to all those involved both past and present, we wish to earnestly declare that FINA associates itself with all movements directed towards the preservation of the environment and the protection of water, an essential element of life on earth.One hundred years later, we invite all 194 FINA Member Federations, their pool and open water swimmers, water polo players, divers, synchronised swimmers, officials, trainers and everyone involved, to repeat loud and clear the international message: Respect Water.Water is a source of life, and for all water sports enthusiasts, water is a source of pleasure. Around the world, pollution, climate change and unsustainable human demand are putting the quantity and quality of water, a natural and essential element, in peril. There are many causes for this, including rapid growth of the world’s population, urbanisation, industrialisation, expanding technology, deforestation, intensive farming, and many more. But water is already scarce in large areas of the planet, and this is a spreading problem. More than two billion people already live with less than what is basically required for a healthy life, according to the World Health Organisation, and many more struggle to obtain the three-to-five litres per person, per day, which is needed to sustain life. Did you know that dirty water causes millions of deaths each year? Nearly 5,000 deaths per day in fact, according to a recent global water access report published by the United Nations. Safe drinking water remains a significant challenge, and the use of unsafe, contaminated water results in billions of cases of disease and infections each year, often among young children. In this view, and with the support of FINA, all water sports enthusiasts should be forward-looking in the ecological battle for the preservation of nature. Responding to this situation is no longer a question of political opinion, but a vital necessity for our future on earth.Many are aware of the water scarcity problem, but not enough have reacted. FINA therefore wishes that this message be repeated in all clubs and schools in an effort to spread awareness about these tragic circumstances. So what concrete actions can be taken now?Each and every one of us can multiply the daily water-saving actions we already take.Our way of living can be modified in order to reduce our consumption of water.There can be greater avoidance of water wastage.We can support institutions conducting research and development on improved water management tools.We can be enlightening, convincing and inventive about water conservation, and communicate this information to those around us.All of us - as Members of the FINA family in every sense of the term - from elite -level competitors to those who swim for pleasure, as well as trainers, officials, families, friends, and even children, should strive to be role models everyday and everywhere.No FINA organiser in any of the FINA disciplines should forget to take into account the reality of water and its value.Being 100 years old comes with responsibility. FINA understands and assumes this responsibility and asks all of its Members to take pride in the declaration “Water is our world” and spread this important message.

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PR9 - Second consecutive win for Petar Stoychev (BUL) and Natalia Pankina (RUS)

On Saturday, February 9, the second race of the 2008 series of the 2nd FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (former FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup), also called the 14th “Maraton Acuatico Internacional Ciudad de Rosario” (a 15 km event) was held in Argentina. Confirming their first success of 2008 (one week earlier in Santa Fe), winners were the Russian Natalia Pankina, in the women’s race, and the Bulgarian Petar Stoychev, in the men’s event.
Four men finished together: Stoychev in front of Stéphane Gomez (FRA) and Damian Blaum (ARG). Therefore, the podium was the same as in the first race of the 2008 season, with Rodolfo Valenti (ITA) finishing in fourth.   In the women’s race, the Russian Natalia Pankina crossed the finish line five minutes before a group of five swimmers, including the winner of the 2007 edition Esther Nuñez (ESP), three Italians (Alessandra Romiti, Camilla Frediani, 3rd and 4th, and Laura La Piana, 6th) and one Argentinean, Pilar Geijo (5th).
Medallists in Maraton Acuatico “Ciudad de Rosario”
Men – 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 2h09m27s; 2. Stéphane Gomez (FRA) 2h09m28s05; 3. Damian Blaum (ARG) 2h09m28s82.Women – 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS) 2h11m38s; 2. Esther Nuñez (ESP) 2h16m23s; 3. Alessandra Romiti (ITA) 2h17m35s.
General Standings after 2 Races
Men -  1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 30 pts; 2. Stéphane Gomez (FRA) 22 pts; 3. Damian Blaum (ARG) 18 ptsWomen - 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS) 30 pts; 2. Esther Nunez (ESP) 18 pts; 3. Alessandra Romiti (ITA) and Laura La Piana (ITA) 14 pts

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PR8 - One more victory for Petar Stoychev (BUL) and Natalia Pankina (RUS)

Last Sunday, on February 3, 2008, the Bulgarian Petar Stoychev, who is the incredible winner of six successive editions of the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup (2001-2006) and of last year’s first edition of the Grand Prix, began the 2008 season with a success; he won the first race of the 2008 series of the 2nd FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (former FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup), the 35th edition of the “Maraton Acuatica Internacional” Santa Fe-Coronda (ARG), a 57km event. Damian Blaum (ARG), a local swimmer and last year’s winner, placed third.
In the women’s race, the Russian Natalia Pankina, a 25km specialist, obtained a fourth FINA victory in World Cup or Grand Prix. She crossed the finish line before Edith Van Dijk (NED) who decided to come back this year in the circuit and who already appears near the top.   Medallists in Maraton Acuatico Rio Coronda Men – 1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 8h20m09s; 2. Stéphane Gomez (FRA) 8h20m13s; 3. Damian Blaum (ARG) 8h20m19sWomen – 1. Natalia Pankina (RUS) 8h22m03s; 2. Edith Van Dijk (NED) 8h29m28s; 3. Laura La Piana (ITA) 8h33m33s.

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PR7 - Opening of the 2008 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix

The first race of the 2008 series of the 2nd FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (former FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup) will take place next Sunday, February 3, 2008 on the occasion of the 35th edition of the “Maraton Acuatica International” Santa Fe-Coronda (ARG). The list of participants who will swim the 57 km includes twenty-two swimmers, eleven men and eleven women. Petar Stoychev (BUL), the winner of the six editions of the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup (2001-2006) and of last year’s first edition of the Grand Prix is among the favourites. In the women’s race, the winner of the 2007 Grand Prix Esther Nunez will also compete.Other participants include: Men: Damian Blaum, Rafael Perez and and Gabriel Villagoiz (ARG), Tihomir Ivanchev (BUL), Stéphane Gomez (FRA), Daniel Katzir (ISR), Rodolfo Valenti, Marco Formentini and Andrea Volpini (ITA) and Ilija Stojanovsky (MKD),Women: Celeste Punet and Noelia Petti (ARG), Bianka Alliard (CAN), Annegret Braun (GER), Camilla Frediani, Laura La Piana, Alessandra Romitti and Laura Volpi (ITA), Edith van Dijk (NED) and Natatlia Pankina (RUS).

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PR6 - Four candidates in the final race

The National Federations/Cities of Argentina (city of Mar Del Plata), Austria (city of Vienna), Hong Kong (city of Hong Kong) and Turkey (city of Istanbul) confirmed their formal bid to the organisation of the 11th edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in 2012.
These two cities were part of a group of six potential bidders that also included: Australia (city of Sydney) and Brazil (city of Rio de Janeiro) The host of the 11th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2012 will be decided and announced by the FINA Bureau on April 12, 2008 with the occasion of the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Manchester (GBR). After Great Britain and before 2012, the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will be held in Dubai (UAE), from April 7-11, 2010.

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PR5 - First race in Santos (BRA) with victories for Larissa Ilchenko (RUS) and Valerio Cleri (ITA)

The first race of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2007 was held on January 26, 2008 along the Boqueiro Beach of Santos (BRA). The 5km and 10km 2007 World Champion, Larissa Ilchenko, imposed her finish in front of the American Kirsten Groome and the famous German duet, Angela Maurer (3rd) and Britta Kamrau Corestein (4th).  For her comeback, the Dutch Edith van Dijk placed only 11th. Twelve swimmers crossed the line in the same minute. In the men’s race, the winner was Italian Valerio Cleri who completed his 2007 season excellently and confirmed his Olympic ambition. The Russian Evgeny Drattsev, third in the 10km World Championships’ event last year, was second ahead of a local swimmer, the Brazilan Allan do Carmo, a revelation. Ten swimmers finished in the same minute.
Medallists in Santos (BRA, 10km)
MEN1. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 1h58m42s10; 2. Evgeny Drattsev (RUS) 1h58m44s11; 3. Allan do Carmo (BRA) 1h58m44s30WOMEN1. Larissa Ilchenko (RUS) 2h04m03s57; 2. Kirsten Groome (USA) 2h04m05s23; 3. Angela Maurer (GER) 2h04m13s26Participants: A record of 84 swimmers (47 men and 37 women) from fifteen countries took the departure (in brackets the number of women): ARG 3 (1), BRA 26 (8), CAN 3 (2),  CHI 1 (1), ESP 3 (2), FRA 3 (1), GER 3 (2), ISR 3 (1), ITA 8 (4), MEX 6 (4), NED 1 (1), POL 1 (1), POR 3 (1),  RUS 11 (4), USA 9 (4). The next race of the 2nd FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup will take place on March 15, 2008 in Dubai (UAE).Before that, the next stage of the other FINA international series of Long Distance Swimming, the 2nd FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix will be held on February 3, 2008 in Santa Fe (ARG) with the 57km “Maraton Acuatica Rio Coronda”.

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PR4 - Great participation for the first race in Santos (BRA)

Eighty-eight swimmers (including 37 women) from 17 countries confirmed their participation in the first race of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2008, which will take place in Santos (BRA) on January 26. The Brazilian delegation will naturally be the most numerous, with a total of 29 athletes. The remaining nations present in Brazil are: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and United States.
The race in Santos opens the eight-meet circuit that will touch the four continents until October 4, 2008, which marks the occasion of the last leg of the competition in Cancun (MEX). The 2008 edition of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup assumes a special importance, as for the first time, this event will be included in the Olympic Games, in Beijing (CHN). Thus, higher participation from the swimmers and increasing interest from media, spectators and sponsors will certainly be evident during these next months. Moreover, and also a first, this year’s World Cup is associated with a FINA sponsor - the world’s leading open water swim-skin and wetsuit company blueseventy.
January 26, 2008          Race No 1 in Santos (BRA)March 15, 2008            Race No 2 in Dubai (UAE)June 28, 2008              Race No 3 in Setubal (POR)July 23, 2008               Race No 4 in Lac St. Jean, Roberval (CAN)September 7, 2008      Race No 5 in Hong Kong (HKG)September 13, 2008     Race No 6 in Singapore (SIN)September 21, 2008     Race No 7 in Shantou (CHN)October 4, 2008           Race No 8 in Cancun (MEX)

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PR3 - Chinese sweep victories at the start of the season

The first meet of the 14th FINA Diving Grand Prix 2008, held from January 18-20, 2008 in Madrid (ESP), was marked by Chinese victories in all eight events of the competition. After their domination in 2007, the Chinese champions started their final road towards the 2008 Olympic Games at home in Beijing next August, in the best possible way.In Madrid, the main challengers of the Chinese divers were, amongst men, the Germans, British and Ukrainians, while in the women’s field, representatives from Canada, Ukraine and Great Britain also got medals.
MEN3m springboard: 1. Xinhua Zhang (CHN) 511.30; 2. Pavel Rozenberg (GER) 468.55; 3. Bo Peng (CHN) 465.5010m platform: 1. Jia Hu (CHN) 540.75; 2. Liguang Yang (CHN) 506.55; 3. Thomas Daley (GBR) 495.453m springboard synchro: 1. Yutong Lou/Chen Zhang (CHN) 415.56; 2. Dmytro Lysenko/Anton Zakharov (UKR) 408.21; 3. Ben Swain/Nicholas Robinson-Baker (GBR) 407.0110m platform synchro: 1. Liguang Yang/Hao Zhang (CHN) 460.68; 2. Thomas Daley/Blake Aldridge (GBR) 417.93; 3. Norman Becker/Johanes Donay (GER) 394.32WOMEN3m springboard: 1. Zi He (CHN) 371.40; 2. Blythe Hartley (CAN) 336.30; 3. Jennifer Abel (CAN) 302.3010m platform: 1. Li Kang (CHN) 413.20; 2. Hao Wang (CHN) 406.50; 3. Emilie Heymans (CAN) 321.153m springboard synchro: 1. Ting Li/Qinxi Zhao (CHN) 296.40; 2. Olena Fedorova/Alevtyna Korolyova (UKR) 293.44; 3. Blythe Hartley/Melanie Rinaldi (CAN) 287.7010m platform synchro: 1. Hao Wang/Li Kang (CHN) 352.56; 2. Monique McCarroll/Sarah Barrow (GBR) 314.70; 3. Marie-Eve Marleau/Emilie Heymans (CAN) 306.30

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PR2 - Seven-meet circuit starts in Madrid (ESP)

The 14th FINA Diving Grand Prix 2008 starts on January 18, 2008 in Madrid (ESP) and will be contested over seven meets until its conclusion on June 15 in Rome (ITA). Since its creation in 1995, this circuit has been staged in a group of distinguished diving countries on various continents. As a result, the event promotes awareness about which nations are renowned for the sport, which has been an Olympic discipline for men since 1904 and for women since 1912.

When it comes to hosting this competition, the fidelity of certain countries is worth recognition. Germany, Canada, Russia, Spain, and the United States of America, for example, have hosted Grand Prix meets since the first edition. China and Italy have missed only one year and two years respectively. Mexico too, deserves acknowledgement for having hosted 14 times. Accordingly, there has been a remarkable prevalence of champions from these nations in not only the FINA Diving Grand Prix, but also the FINA Diving World Cup, FINA Diving World Series and the diving competitions of the FINA World Championships and the Olympic Games.
2008 Calendar
•    January 18-20          Madrid (ESP)            •    Feb. 29 – March 2    Shenzhen (CHN)           •    April 10-13              Moscow (RUS)              •    May 1-4                 Montreal (CAN) •    May 8-11                Ft. Lauderdale (USA)    •    June 6-8                Rostock (GER)             •    June 13-15            Rome (ITA)   Since 2002, when synchronised diving was added to the competition, the FINA Diving Grand Prix is comprised of the following events: 3m Springboard (Men and Women); 10m Platform (Men and Women); 3m Springboard Svnchro (Men and Women); 10m Platform Synchro (Men and Women).Winners are determined by the number of points they accumulate throughout the competition, which are awarded according to their place and rank.

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