By Sports Reporter/Doha
After a record number of athletes registered to compete at the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships, organisers today confirmed part of the star-studded line-up of swimmers that will compete in Doha from December 3-7.
Hundreds of millions around the world are expected to tune in to see the biggest names in swimming take to the blocks at Hamad Aquatic Centre including the 11-time Olympic medallist known for his short-course dominance, Ryan Lochte. His seven individual Olympic medals see him placed second all-time in men’s swimming and he is the current world record holder in the 100m, 200m and 400m individual medley (short course). At the 2012 World Championships Lochte was the man of the hour with eight medals and has a strong chance to repeat those achievements as he is expected to race in six individual events (200m free, 200m back, 50m and 100m fly, 100m and 200m IM).
With the likes of Olympic champions Breeja Larson and Conor Dwyer joining Lochte in Team USA, the Americans will be looking to top the medal table at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) for the fourth championships running.
The USA will surely have some stiff competition for the top spot from Hungary, who have confirmed that their leading duo, Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta will compete in Doha. Hosszu broke three World Records in Qatar in August and claimed an astonishing 69 medals, 52 of them gold, throughout this year’s FINA Mastbank World Cup series. She finished top of the points table overall with Gyurta finishing second overall in the men’s competition. With five-time Olympic medallist László Cseh also competing for Hungary, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Joining the Hungarians in the spotlight in the men’s competition will be South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh. Le Clos started his 2014 short-course season in Doha with three golds at the first meet of the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup and went on to win the series overall. The reigning short course World and Olympic Champion in the 200m butterfly, Le Clos has been chasing his own short course World Record (1:48:56) all season. Coming within a whisker of breaking it at the final Swimming World Cup series meet in Singapore earlier this month when he posted 1:48:88, the South African will surely be looking to go one better in Doha. His countryman Cameron Van De Burgh, who holds short course World Records in 50m and 100m breaststroke, will also be hoping to add to South Africa’s medal tally in Doha.
Lithuanian sensation, Ruta Meilutyte, who broke onto the scene winning three golds at the London 2012 Olympic Games aged just 15, will also compete in Doha as will three-time Olympic medallist and regional hero, Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, double World Record holder Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain and Olympian Lotte Friis of Denmark. The full line-up is set to be announced shortly.
Doha has marked this year it’s year of swimming. As well as the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships, the city has already successfully staged the first meet in the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup and is the first city to host a World Cup and a World Championships in the same year. It will also host the 3rd FINA Aquatics Conference (November 29th- December 01, 2014), which includes the FINA Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic and the FINA Extraordinary Congress.
The 12th FINA World Swimming Championships will be held over five days with morning heats starting at 9:30am and the fast-action finals takings place at 6pm. Fans can purchase their tickets at Virgin Megastores or online at tickets.virginmegastores.me starting at QR10. Find out more at www.wscdoha2014.com and follow us @FINA2014Doha on Twitter.
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