Swimmers hail venue

World championship swimmers have trained for the first time in the new state-of-the-art Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex



World championship swimmers have trained for the first time in the new state-of-the-art Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with the swimmers praising the standard and quality of the venue.

The swimmers taking the honour of being first into the water were 800m freestyler Kristel Kobrich of Chile, along with Benjamin Hockin (200m free) and Charles Hockin (100m backstroke) of Paraguay.

One of the first swimmers in the pool was Zimbabwe’s Tim Ferris, training for the 50m, 100m, and 200m breaststroke. Ferris said the facility is “fantastic and breathtaking, I thought I’d walked into Madison Square Garden”!

With only two days to go until the start of the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), and over 770 swimmers from over 148 countries arriving in Dubai over the next few days, the pool deck will be awash with the world’s best swimmers as they prepare for the competition.

Teams are arriving every day, so the airport will also be swarming with the heroes of the pool.

World and Olympic 1500m champion, Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia was also full of praise for the facility, saying “I am super excited, it’s an incredible venue, a fast pool and I can’t wait to get this competition going”.

Mellouli, who is hot favourite to take the 1500m gold, is tapered and feeling good. Vice-Championships director Dr Khalid Al Zahed said: ‘‘it is great to see all these world class swimmers from many different nations swimming in our new state-of-the-art venue. I look forward to seeing all athletes compete on a world stage.’’

The championships, which run from December 15 to 19, are set to be the biggest in the event’s history.


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