Posted on October 09, 2016

Doha’s Hamad Aquatic Centre has once again hosted a hugely successful FINA Airweave Swimming World Cup following two days of high-quality action in front of capacity crowds. Olympic medallists and world record holders battled it out to gain crucial points with just three meets remaining of the 2016 series. The undoubted highlight once again was the unstoppable Katinka Hosszu who claimed a total of nine gold and four silver medals over the two days.

Speaking following the conclusion of the fifth consecutive World Cup in Doha, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and President of the Qatar Swimming Association, Khaleel Al Jabir, said: ‘It has been an honour to witness so many outstanding performances from the world’s best swimmers over the last two days. We offer them our best wishes with their remaining World Cup meets and the upcoming World Championships in Canada. It also been pleasing to see so many of our young Qatari swimmers compete, many for the very first time, against such high-quality competitors and we have no doubt that they have learnt a lot for their future careers.

“Hosting the FINA Airweave Swimming World Cup event is critical to the future of the sport here and I’m so pleased to have received such positive feedback from athletes, fans and officials. This is very important to us as we look ahead to our hosting of the Doha 2023 FINA World Championships for the first time in the Middle East. We are committed to showcasing the very best of aquatic sports and capturing the attention of new audiences and new athletes to grow and develop aquatics in a new region.’ In the women’s competition, Katinka Hosszu further extended her unbeatable lead in the overall World Cup rankings after equalling her own record tally of thirteen medals in a single World Cup series event, a feat she recently achieved in Dubai. The Hungarian star known as the Iron Lady said:

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“It was definitely a fun two days. The crowd was amazing. There were a lot of Hungarians here so I’m always happy to be back. I love being here in Doha. I’ve broken eight world records here so it’s always nice to relive these memories. For me it’s always fun to race and challenge myself. I like that or else it gets boring for me. I like putting myself in situations where I might not win. I have thirteen medals over these two days and now I’ll try to beat that.” Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark, who is currently lying in second in the World Cup series and a bronze medallist from Rio 2016, claimed an impressive four gold medals in Doha. However, she plans to keep her form going for the upcoming World Cup cluster. Speaking after her final victory, she said: “Its been good. I’m really thrilled as that’s my top performance of the finals tonight and of the entire weekend. I’m happy now but I need to rest and then turn my attention to Singapore.”

Alia Atkinson, who became Jamaica’s first-ever World Champion in the Doha 2014 World Championships and who is the current world-record holder in the 100m breaststroke continued her dominance in the event with golds in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke, as well as a bronze in the 100m individual medley. Speaking after the 50m breaststroke final, she said: “It went pretty well as I was going after the world record. I want to keep getting faster as I go through the World Cup series. I have three more chances in the next cluster. There was a great cheer from the Doha crowd when I walked out which relaxed me and put everything in perspective.”

In the men’s competition, Vladimir Morozov of Russia also proved why he has already secured his spot as winner of the 2016 World Cup series with an outstanding six gold medals over the two days of competition. Following his victory in the 50m freestyle final Morozov said: “This was definitely a successful finals for me in Doha. I’m happy with the second win. It’s been a great series so far as although we’re all meant to be rivals, we’re actually just great competitors and gentlemen in and out of the pool. For Canada I might add the breaststroke. It’s looking really good at the moment. If I do that will be me up to 8 events.” 

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Chad le Clos tonight claimed two further gold medals to take his event tally to three golds, two silvers and a bronze. The Rio 2016 two-time silver medallist who claimed four gold medals in the Doha 2014 World Championships commented after his victory in the 100m butterfly: “This year was a lot tougher than last. I had two tough races back to back so I’m happy with my win today especially with all my supporters here cheering for me.” Other multiple medallists from the Doha leg of the 2016 World Cup series include Rio 2016 bronze medallist Daiya Seto of Japan who claimed three golds, one silver and one bronze, Yuliya Efimova of Russia with two golds and four silvers and Bobby Hurley of Australia with two golds, one silver and one bronze. Speaking at the end of the event, Hurley said:

“The competition has been tough here but it’s been good to race as all the top swimmers are here and I’ve enjoyed the experience. The crowds have been good, lots of familiar faces. Doha has wonderful facilities and we’re made to feel very welcome. I’ve really enjoyed it especially the atmosphere.” This year’s event was supported by Doha’s Presenting Sponsor, Al Kass Sports Channel and was organised in partnership with the National Sponsors, QNB, Aspetar, and Telecommunication National Partner, OOREDOO Qatar and National Supporters, Salem stores, The Look Company, Q Tickets and Al Dana, who all provided crucial support to ensure that the event ran smoothly and was a huge success.