FINA Communication Department

The Aquatic sports were honoured at ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) Gala held on November 3, 2017 in Prague (CZE), with the FINA President and top athletes in Swimming receiving some of the most important awards of the ceremony.

Dr Julio C. Maglione, who had been elected earlier in the morning, at the ANOC Assembly, Senior Vice-President of the organisation, was awarded the “Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award” for his dedication to Sport and Aquatics for over the last four decades.

FINA President, IOC Member, ANOC Senior Vice-President and President of the Uruguayan Olympic Committee, Dr Maglione couldn’t hide his emotion when receiving the prize.

 

“I am really honoured to receive this distinction! In this unforgettable moment, I think about my country, Uruguay, and to all my sport friends around the world. Moreover, I am also very touched to have on my side two men that I respect a lot: the IOC President Dr Thomas Bach and ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. Thank you all!”

Three FINA top-swimmers were also honoured during this special evening: Chad Le Clos, from South Africa, was the “Best Male Athlete from Africa 2017”, while Farida Osman, from Egypt, was awarded the “Best Female Athlete from Africa 2017” prize. Finally, Sarah Sjostrom, from Sweden, was the “Best Female Athlete from Europe 2017”.

Both Le Clos and Sjostrom are the provisional leaders of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup and had a very successful FINA World Championships in Budapest last July: the South African ace got the gold in the 200m butterfly, while the European great won the 50m, 100m fly and 50m free, and earned silver in the 100m free. Moreover, she set World Records in the 50m and 100m free.

Farida Osman was the first Egyptian swimmer to ever medal at the FINA World Championships, getting a bronze in the women’s 50m butterfly.

“I am incredibly proud to represent my country and continent at the ANOC Awards. After a difficult year last year in my personal life, I am really pleased with my results this year and was delighted to come back and win gold in the 200m butterfly at the FINA World Championships in Budapest. Sport in Africa is going from strength to strength, so I am humbled and honoured to win ANOC Award for Best Male Athlete from Africa. I hope I can use this award as a platform to inspire further sporting development throughout the continent”, declared Chad Le Clos.

Sarah Sjostrom was also quite excited to get this important distinction:

“I am thrilled to receive this award, it is great honour and I am flattered to be recognised for my achievements this year at such an esteemed event. I would like to thank ANOC for this award and for organising such a wonderful celebration in Prague. To win three gold medals and one silver medal at the FINA World Championships, set two world records, one Swedish national record and be awarded FINA Female Swimmer of the Meet in Budapest, has made 2017 a really special year for me.”

Finally, Farida Osman hopes that her achievements can constitute an example not only within her country but in the entire African continent:

“To be presented with this award in the company of so many inspiring people is a memory that will stay with me forever. 2017 has been a great year for me, especially the historic moment of winning Egypt’s first ever medal at the FINA World Championships. I am extremely proud to have set a new African 50m butterfly record when I won the bronze medal in Budapest, and I am determined to continue to work hard, improve, and become an inspiration for future athletes.”