Greetings from the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Dubai!
Welcome to the first in a series of updates from Speedoâs eyes and ears on the ground in the UAE, weâll be sharing our Speedo sponsoredÂ athletes successes and news from both in and out of the pool over the next 6 days.
Excitement is mounting in the run up to the event as athletes and teams pour into the new venue that has become affectionately known as theÂ âpearl in the desertâ. Adorned with panels of glass the new Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex can be seen for miles around.
Glistening in the sun and sitting majestically in the desert, the venue is home to two 50-metre pools that can be transformed into a 25-metre pool and a diving pool. The first of its kind in Dubai the sports complex will also play host to other sports such as basketball, volleyball, netball and badminton.
The 10th FINA World Swimming Championships will be the first international swimming event to be held in the venue.
The Sports Complex is a big hit with Team Speedo. Italian Speedo sponsored swimmer and Team Captain Filippo Magnini is a big fan, describing it as âfantastic!â While the architecture of the building reminds USA swim star Christine Magnuson of the âBirdsnestâ stadium in Beijing, her team mate Tyler Clary said, âitâs the craziest venue Iâve ever been to, itâs completely surreal!â
Tomorrow, the first day of competition, all eyes will be on Obaid Al Jesmi, the Captain of the UAE National Swim Team, who will make history as he represents the UAE in the 4x100m freestyle relay on the opening day of the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)
Swimming with his brothers Saeed, Bakhit and Faisal, the UAE team will enter the Guinness Book of Records and become the first set of brothers to compete together as a foursome in the Short Course Worlds. He said, âI feel fresh and ready to go. I am very excited and I want to see where I will be between all these great competitors. My family will be watching and supporting my performance. They always motivate me to do my best.â
On training four brothers in one team Jay Benner the UAE Team coach, said, âThey are great guys with different personalities. They are very motivated and a pleasure to work with.â
Alluding to a taste of whatâs to come at tomorrowâs Opening Ceremony that takes place at 7.00pm, before the first Finals Session of the Â competiton, Â H.E.Mattar Al Tayer, the Vice-Chairman of Dubai Sports Council who took part in a welcome press conference this afternoon said, âYou will have to wait until tomorrow, it will be very special but I canât give anything away.â
Todayâs Speedo video cast âWelcome to Dubaiâ Â features interviews with Lynne Bates, CEO Dubai 2010 World Swimming Championships and Matt Welsh, event MC and former World Champion swimmer in the backstroke and butterfly. Please see:
Daily news updates direct from Dubai will be available at swimnews.com and speedo.com. Additional content will be available at facebook.com/speedo and youtube.com/speedointernational.