Wednesday, 12 September 2018 18:36

FINA Swimming World Cup Doha 2018: Top stars eye glory as Doha set to stage another swimming blockbuster

Sjostrom, Chupkov target success as Le Clos, Hosszu vow spectacular display; FINA delegate praises arrangements the Organising Committee preparations

Doha (QAT), 12.09.2018: Qatar is ready to host the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 edition, which will begin on September 13, with leading swimmers targeting a rich medal haul at Hamad Aquatic Centre.

The press conference for the second stop was held on September 12 at the Torch Hotel in Doha.

Qatar Swimming Association President and FINA Bureau Member Mr. Khaleel Al Jabir, and FINA Technical Delegate Mr. Craig Hunter along with top swimmers spoke on the occasion.   

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Qatar, the host country for FINA World Championships in 2023, is hosting the highly-anticipated event for the seventh consecutive year. Over 130 swimmers from 23 countries are ready to compete.

“We look forward to continue hosting this event successfully and wish swimmers the best experience as ever,” Mr. Khaleel Al Jabir said.      

FINA Technical Delegate Mr. Craig Hunter was impressed with the preparations.

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“We are delighted to return to Doha. After the success of Kazan stop, we are hoping for more thrilling contests here. I saw the pool which is in outstanding shape. FINA would like to thank QSA and sponsors for their contribution,” Mr. Craig said.    

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Vladmir Morozov of Russia are leading the women’s and men’s rankings respectively after the first leg.

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Sjostrom, the last year’s overall winner, was in outstanding form in Kazan where she broke three World Cup records on her way to five victories. The Swedish swimmer is leading the rankings with 60 points and is eyeing an improved show in Doha.

“My last year’s competition in Doha was successful, and after that I won the overall title. I am targeting another good performance at this venue and hoping to be faster than Kazan,” she told reporters.    

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary will also look to bag more medals in Doha after earning five titles in Kazan. The Hungarian star famous as ‘The Iron Lady’ is third in the rankings with 36 points behind Russia’s Yulia Efimova (42 points). Hosszu is confident for a successful competition.

“I have many great memories in Doha and I am excited to be back. I am hopeful of giving a good show and win more races,” she said.

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In men’s field, Morozov will return to action after winning three races in the previous meeting for top spot with 54 points.

Morozov’s teammate, Anton Chupkov, who attended the press conference, also promises a spectacular display after his fiery run at home where he won 100m and 200m breaststroke. He is second in the ranking with 48 points.

“It’s good to be here in Doha. After the Kazan performance, I am looking for some interesting results in this tough competition,” said Chupkov.     

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Races featuring last year’s overall winner in men’s challenge, Chad Le Clos will also be must-watch contests as the South African star will be hoping to improve his rankings. He triumphed in 200m fly in Kazan, and is on 5th position in the current rankings.

“I always rate Doha as my second home. I’ve spent a lot of time here especially in Aspetar. I’ve also achieved good results here and looking forward to be faster than in Kazan,” he said at the press conference.  

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Another highlight of today’s event was the announcement of a special trophy which would be handed to the winner of Doha leg besides the prize money.

The races will be held in two sessions daily – morning heats at 10:00 and evening finals at 18:00 – on all the three days