By Sports Reporter/Doha
From aspiring teenage swimmers to amateur athletes in their 50s, many participants took the plunge at the shore of Katara Beach to showcase their skills as Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) hosted another successful edition of the Doha Open Water Challenge yesterday.
A total of 162 local swimmers competed in the event, which took place on the eve of season-opening FINA /CNSG Marathon Swim World Series Doha 2020.
The 800m races featuring men and women swimmers of different age categories were held in four waves, with each one offering a plenty of excitement as the participants competed in good conditions.
As many as 40 swimmers took part in the first three waves each with the fourth and last wave consisting of 42 competitors.
The purpose of the Doha Open Water Challenge, which was held for the third consecutive year in the Qatari capital, is to enable the public to swim the same course and enjoy the same facilities for a day, which the leading athletes of the world experience.
As the event started, the swimmers particularly the youngsters showed a lot of enthusiasm as they swam in front of a good number of spectators.
Aday Alvarez, who participated in men’s 30-34 age category, gave thumbs up to QSA’s organisation for the event. “It was a good race and the level of competition was also good,” said Alvarez. “The water was not cold and it was good for the competition. This is the third time I am competing in this challenge and every time I can see improvement in the organisation,” he added.
Helen Dobson, who took part in women’s 45-49 race, said. “It was an amazing race. I would like to thank the organisers for giving us the opportunity to compete in this event.”
The spectacular event culminated with an impressive presentation ceremony.
Focus will now shift to the FINA Marathon Swim World Series Doha 2020, which will be held at the same venue today.
With swimmers gearing up for this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, the Doha marathon has attracted all the big open water stars.
A total of 136 swimmers including 82 male and 54 female athletes from 34 countries are taking part in the first meet, which will be followed by nine more stops.
Florian Wellbrock of Germany and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil will start as defending champions in men and women’s races in Doha respectively.
The women’s race will kick off at 11am while the men’s marathon will start at 1pm.
Doha Open Water Challenge 2020 winners
Boys 15-17 years: Moaz Ahmed Saleh
Girls 15-17 years: Samantha Maries Banas
Men 18-24 years: Michael Berendt
Women 18-24 years: Yelyzaveta Shyrydeha
Men 25-29 years: Pavlo Nikonorov
Women 25-29 years: Shiela Marie Ruiz
Men 30-34 years: Naoufel Charaf
Women 30-34 years: Ana Milena Gomez
Men 35-39 years: Vadym
Women 35-39 years: Isora Sosa
Men 40-44 years: Adem Allalou
Women 40-44 years: Daniela Sposi
Men 45-49 years: Paul Crooks
Women 45-49 years: Lynn Kelley
Men 55-59 years: Dmytro Siversky
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