Dubai's Jodie May wins two gold medals at Oceanman World Finals

The 17-year-old student from Dubai College upstaged a strong field led by Eva Giuliani in Thailand


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Jodie May has been swimming since the age of seven. — Supplied photo
Jodie May has been swimming since the age of seven. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 10 Dec 2023, 7:03 PM

Jodie May, an open water swimmer from Dubai, says she feels proud and elated after winning two gold medals at the 2023 Oceanman World Final Championship in Pukhet, Thailand.

Born in Dubai, the 17-year-old student from Dubai College, upstaged a strong field led by Eva Giuliani to complete the 5km swim in an impressive time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 41 seconds.

The World Final Championship, one of the largest international open water swimming competitions in the world, involved over 1,000 competitors from 72 countries. Qualify-ing rounds taking place in Mexico, Cyprus, Malaysia, Spain, Bali, Kazakhstan, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Egypt and Dubai.

“I was so proud to represent the UAE and to receive both my gold medals to the playing of the UAE National Anthem on UAE National Day, the day of the swim, as I stood on the medal podium,” said Jodie, who is now back in Dubai.

It was just her second open water swim following the 5k Dubai leg, held in the waters off Sunset Beach, just three weeks ago where she won both the Ladies and Junior Di-visions. In the Thailand race Jodie bettered her Dubai time by over two minutes.

“It was a tough race in Thailand but I really enjoyed it, competing against so many other swimmers from around the world,” Jodie told Khaleej Times.

“I swim in Dubai with Hamilton Aquatics and I would like to especially thank my coach Alex for encouraging me along with all my Swim Squad friends to compete."

Jodie, who is in Year 13 student, has been swimming since the age of seven. She currently trains in the pool eight times a week in addition to putting in two gym sessions.

Asked about the future plans for her swimming, Jodie said: “My priority this season is my A Levels and school work for exams in May and June.

“I will continue with my swim training and this weekend I am in Abu Dhabi for a pool meet.

‘I also look forward to my next open water swim in the New Year.”

Designed by swimmers for swimmers, the Oceanman project is an exciting and enjoy-able global open water swimming series which began in 2015. During 2023 the event hosted more than 20 competitions around the world, including in Dubai.

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