World champion Dania Akeel will take part in the Dakar Rally 2022


15th FINA Swimming World Championships ends with 46 champions crowned in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: The 15th edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) wrapped up on Tuesday, after a five-day competition that saw 46 world champions crowned and four world records broken at the Etihad Arena in the Yas bay.

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock became the latest swimmer to set a new world record after triumphing in the men’s 1,500 freestyle on the final night of action.

Officials from the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and FINA attended the closing press conference of the championships, ahead of the closing ceremony which took place inside the arena. They included Aref Al-Awani, secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; Husain Al-Musallam, President of FINA; and Brent Nowicki, Executive Director of FINA.

The officials were joined by several top swimmers and divers, including Chad Le Clos (Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion) and Siobhan Haughey (women’s 200m / 100m freestyle champion in Abu Dhabi).

Haughey had broken a world record of 1: 50.31 in the women’s 200 freestyle, while Sweden tied the world record in the 4x50m medley relay set by the United States in the previous edition of the test. Haughey and the Swedish quartet won an additional $ 50,000 for their record breaking performances.

In addition to the new world champions, the championships also featured an array of talented swimmers from around the world, including Alaa Maso, the only member of the FINA refugee team, who fled his home country, Syria. , to pursue its swimming ambitions.

“Over the past week, Abu Dhabi has been at the center of the global swimming sphere, with more than 1,100 athletes from over 183 countries competing not only in the pool, but also through the high diving and open water swimming, for a purse of $ 3.2 million – the highest in FINA history, ”Al-Awani said.

He also pointed out that the tournament is broadcast to a global television audience in 133 countries, including CCTV in China, NBC in North America, Super Sports across Africa and local host broadcasters, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel.

“I want to thank the media,” he said. “Over the past week, we hosted 160 accredited media outlets at this world-class venue. Hope you enjoyed your stay here at Etihad Arena. I would also like to thank Captain Husain, Taha Alkushari and our friends at FINA, as well as all participating countries and athletes.

Al-Awani added, “We also send our best wishes to the 2022 Organizing Committee in Kazan, Russia as they embark on their journey to host the upcoming World Short Course (25m) Championships.

Haughey said she and her nation can proudly watch the Abu Dhabi edition after an impressive performance in the pool.

“It was amazing knowing that I was the first person from Hong Kong, China to win a world championship and break a world record,” she said. “I’m sure that in the future there will be a lot of up-and-coming swimmers who can also achieve the same. From day one when I broke the world record, the team from Hong Kong, China have been doing really well and competing in many finals and it has been a great week for the whole country.

Aidan Heslop of Great Britain was among the winners of the FINA high diving qualification, achieving the most difficult dive ever to triumph in the final round of the event.

The 19-year-old, who received a seven from the judges for a winning score of 436.90 points, reflected on his triumph, saying: “You’ve got to be a little crazy about that, but we’re taking calculated risks on this. that we do and do not do anything stupid. We really use the 10m dive we started with and adapt to those heights.

After the press conference, the official closing ceremony took place inside the Etihad Arena, for the official presentation of the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), which are expected to take place in Kazan, in Russia, in 2022.


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