It’s pool season and our cover story this month is all about getting those pool days in the diary. However, if you’re looking for some real action (or you’re just aquaphobic), check out this very exciting tournament taking place here in Doha.
Qatar’s capital is hosting the second round of one of the world’s most anticipated sporting event, the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018. This year is going to be bigger and better with more than 44 countries and 320 swimmers having registered to compete for the title in Doha.
Created in 1988, every year the competition gathers the world’s best swimmers in a series of meets organised between August and November. This year, the circuit will cover seven legs, staged around the globe in three clusters. The first cluster includes Kazan in Russia where the first leg takes place and Doha for the second leg taking place between Thursday September 13 and Saturday September 15. The finals will then take place in Singapore in November.
Hamad Aquatic Centre’s indoor pool will come alive this month with Olympic heroes, world record holders and exciting new talent to the region, all battling it out in the pool for medals and the coveted world champion title. This is swimming at its very best and fans can expect lots of splashing as the world’s fastest and most competitive swimmers take to the water to secure their place at the world championships. We’re eagerly looking forward to catching athletes such as Sarah Sjostrom from Sweden, USA’s Michael Andrew and South Africa’s golden boy Chad Le Clos who rose to fame after beating Michael Phelps at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
No stranger to Doha, Le Clos has recorded dominant performances at Hamad Aquatic Centre at the FINA Swimming World Cup in October 2017, when he took home gold in the 50m and 100m butterfly, his signature events, as well as the 100m freestyle. We’re equally excited to watch three-time Olympian Katinka Hosszu return to Doha for this year’s World Cup. The ‘Iron Lady’ has a strong FINA Swimming World Cup track record and last year at the Doha meet, she took home four gold medals and one silver medal.
A new concept for the 2018 World Cup has been developed. It combines races in 50m pool (x1 Cluster) and 25m pool (x2 Clusters). Each event will last three days with heats in the morning and finals in the evenings. Swimmers can enter an unlimited number of events and only the best three results (per meet points) will count towards the ranking/scoring. The 2018 prize money to be distributed reaches over USD 2.5 million.
Get the dates in your diary and be prepared for a lot of splashing. Just don’t get too excited and jump in.
QR20 (standard), QR100 (VIP), QR250 (VIP – 2 adults plus 2 kids). Sept 13-15, 10am-noon, 6pm-8.45pm. Hamad Aquatic Centre, Aspire Zone, Al Waab. For tickets: www.q-tickets.com/events/FINA_SWIMMING_2018.