FINA Communication Department

World’s swimming bests will now spend the week in the Middle East for the fifth and sixth legs of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016.

The world-class event first returns to Dubai (UAE) on October 4-5, and welcomes numerous elite swimmers such as Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and Vladimir Morozov (RUS), who both currently lead the ranking, but also Chad Le Clos (RSA), Jeanette Ottesen (DEN) and many others.

FINA President Dr. Julio C Maglione, sat next to FINA Bureau Member and UAE Swimming Federation President Ahmad Abdulla Al Falasi at the kick-off press conference at the Hamdan Sports Complex today, recognised the country’s commitment:

“It is always a great pleasure to be back in Dubai, one of FINA’s most experienced partners. Dubai and the UAE Swimming Federation have never failed to be reliable partners.
I would like to express one more time my gratitude to the authorities of Dubai and all the people involved in the organisation of the Series. Dubai and the whole nation are highly professional organisers and all the events hosted here in the past have always been of great quality.

FINA President ©UAE Swimming

Following the big success of swimming at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, I would like to remind everyone that athletes are always at the heart of all our decisions and they really are the stars of the sport.”

Hosszu (HUN) and Le Clos (RSA) signing caps for fans today

Sports Tourism Manager (Dubai Sports Council) Ghazi Al Modani also present at the press conference today reminded that:

“We are always very proud to showcase the Hamdan complex centre on the international stage. As you know excellency is so important for me and for my country and Organising a leg of the World Series every year just brings a smile on my face.”

We want to grow our national team too, having a team developing and growing here is our priority. We are a big family, a big community. It is not a one off event but a long term relationships with FINA. Thanks to all involved, especially the Federations.”

Olympic silver medallist and World Cup champion Chad Le Clos (RSA) explained his special link to the city of Dubai.

“I have come to Dubai many times and I love it. I have been training here a lot so it is a special place for me, like a second home. I have a lot of friends here.
Personally I use the World Cup to get back to shape in between the Olympics and the Short Course World Championships.”

The Hungarian power lady emphasised:

“I started the Swimming World Cup back in 2012 with the first leg here in Dubai. It has a symbolic meaning to me and I am always excited to come here to race. For me the World Cup is a rest in itself. It is a no-pressure event, I just enjoy travelling and racing with everyone. So for me it’s like time off.”

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) in Beijing last week ©Xia Yifang

Asked about their relationships with Michael Phelps and his influence in the sport, Hosszu and Le Clos both agreed to say that not only Phelps is a role model but he also inspired them all tremendously.

“Michael Phelps has inspired us all to work harder and be better in our discipline. I think he is an amazing swimmer but I focus on myself. I am only 27 so getting 3 gold medals and bringing them back home with me was amazing, I believe. I don’t think we evolve in Michael’s shadow.”

Le Clos reminded: “In 2012 I beat Michael and it was a great inspiration for my career to come. In some respects I have to say thank you to him because he gave me that level of fame. I believe I can take my gold medal back in Tokyo.

Swimmer Mohamed Almheiri, representing UAE, welcomed everyone and admitted that “presenting our country internationally is great because we boost the image of Dubai. We need to continue to achieve more for the country I think.

A total of 33 countries are taking part in the Dubai meet, 144 men and 72 women will be taking the departure over the two-day competition (216 in total). In addition, 105 club swimmers will be performing under international standards in the Hamdan Sports Complex.

Morning heats will kick-off at 10am, while the finals, streamed free of charge on FINA TV, will be raced at 6:30pm.

The FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup will then head to Asia for the final Cluster with stops in Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong.