A thrilling start to the FINA Mastbank World Cup is all but confirmed with yesterday’s announcement of part of the line-up for the Doha meet. Amongst the world’s top swimmers that will compete in the first of seven meets of the FINA Swimming World Cup are men’s Olympic champion Chad Le Clos, who will be racing to defend the overall male World Cup Champion title, three-time Olympic medalist Oussama Mellouli and four-time Olympian from South Africa, Roland Schoeman.
South African Chad Le Clos will compete in Doha off the back of an impressive seven medal haul at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.
Le Clos looks in good form and having elected not to compete at the 2014 Pan Pac Championships, should be well rested in his preparations for Doha. The Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion has twice won the Overall Swimming World Cup in 2011 and 2013, making him a force to reckon with in the water. Over the course of two days, spectators will see Le Clos power through his races.
Le Clos said, “The first meet in the World Cup is an important one and I’m hoping for a strong start to the series in Doha as I look to defend my overall World Cup Champion title. I hope the crowds will get behind me and the rest of the team again this year!”
Joining Le Clos in the South African contingent is Roland Schoeman, current World record holder in 50m freestyle and one of South Africa’s longest-standing Olympic swimmers having competed at every Games since 2000. Countryman Giulio Zorzi, who picked up a bronze at last year’s FINA World Championships in Barcelona, completes the line-up of South Africa’s males making them a formidable team in Doha this year.
Australia will also be out for victory with Robert Hurley, 50m backstroke World Champion (25m) and Ashley Delaney, silver medalist at the 2013 FINA Swimming World Championships, representing the nation. Making up Team USA in the male side of the competition will be 50m butterfly World Champion Eugene Godsoe and triple medalist at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Tom Shields.
Fans will also get a chance to witness the region’s premier swimmer, Oussama Mellouli, who after a brief retirement following the London 2012 Olympic Games is returning to his home region, where he also has plans to open a training academy. Mellouli has garnered the support of the home crowd for many years as a three-time Olympic medalist who has perfected his underwater performance in both short course and distance races such as his preferred 1500m freestyle.
Commenting on the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup, Mellouli said, “I’m looking forward to getting back into the pool in Doha and competing against the world’s best. It’s going to be a tough competition and everyone works hard, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
Speaking ahead of the free-to-attend FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup, Qatar Swimming Association President Khaleel al-Jabir said: “We’re excited to see the first names in such a spectacular line-up at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha. As the first stop on the World Cup journey, Qatar is eager to set the tone for the rest of the series and we are looking forward to two days of thrilling action in the pool.”
Doha has marked this year it’s year of swimming with the city not only hosting the first stop in the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup, but also the third FINA Aquatics Conference (November 29th- December 01, 2014), directly ahead of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (December 3-7, 2014). The upcoming World Cup event is free to attend with admission tickets being available for collection at the Hamad Aquatic Centre from August 25 – 26.
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