Chad Le Clos set to grace swimming festival in Abu Dhabi

Olympian will join thousands of swimmers on Capital’s shores

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Published: Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:46 PM

Abu Dhabi: Olympic gold medallist Chad Le Clos has added his name to the growing number of participants taking part in the Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival later this month. The 22-year-old South African, who won gold in the 200m butterfly at the London Olympics in 2012, is the current Fina male swimmer of the year having whitewashed the competition in last year’s Fina Swimming Championships.

Chad le Clos is looking forward to seeing the sights of the Capital. — Supplied photo 

The swimming superstar will join families, kids and other Olympic athletes at Emirates Palace on 28th February for the UAE capital’s largest community swimming event. Taking inspiration from the great swimming events from around the world, the Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival plans to grow participation and swimmer engagement cementing it as one of the premier open-water swimming events on the international calendar.

Le Clos, currently training for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the Fina World Championships, will take time out of his busy schedule to visit the UAE for the event.

He is no stranger to the Emirates, having competed in Dubai on three occasions, but this will be his first time in Abu Dhabi and he admitted he was looking forward to seeing the sights of the capital. “I’ve heard lots of great things about Abu Dhabi and I am looking forward to visiting for the first time. The Emirates Palace bay looks amazing and I can’t wait to swim there.

“I like the concept of the Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival. I have seen the success of the Midmar Mile near my Durban home, which is now the world’s leading mass participation swimming event. It’s at a great location and attracts everyone from families and kids to elite swimmers. It’s a lot of fun and I am sure that the Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival will be the same.”

The Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival will see participants take part in a range of swimming races, including a number of Junior Splash Dashes, parent and child relays, and the Abu Dhabi Mile. The Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival is sponsored by National Health Insurance Company-Daman’s Activelife initiative, and organised by Professional Sports Group in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The event aims to provide fun for all the family, and is open to swimmers of all abilities. Dr Sven Rohte, Chief Commercial Officer at Daman, said: “We are delighted to announce that the world famous Chad Le Clos will be joining us at the Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival. He is an inspiration to swimmers of all ages and will be a great ambassador for the event, which aims to motivate the UAE community to live a healthy and active life.”

For his part, Talal Al Hashemi, Director of ADSC’s Technical Affairs Division, said “We are determined to make the Abu Dhabi swimming festival one of the most prominent swimming events that famous swimmers from all around the world will look forward to participating in, and the presence of Chad Le Clos is a very clear indication to that.”

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