New swimming stars in Dubai, Arab swimmers growing

Starting 26th World Junior Championships

22 August, 20:30

    The building in Dubai where the fourth edition of the World junior swimming championships will be held The building in Dubai where the fourth edition of the World junior swimming championships will be held

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES - The fourth edition of the World junior swimming championships will kick off in Dubai on August 26 until August 31 with 859 athletes from 93 countries, 15 from Italy. These record numbers confirm the choice made by the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) to stage the championships in the emirate at the very last moment.
    The 2013 event was in fact originally scheduled to take place in Casablanca but in August last year Moroccan organizers decided to forego hosting the event due to lack of funds. Dubai was then chosen as its Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sport Complex was already fit to host the event. The huge complex was built in the desert in 2010 and cost 300 million dollars for the short course swimming world championships. The building has two Olympic swimming pools, can accommodate 15,000 spectators and its changing rooms are able to accommodate 400 athletes at a time.
    The structure is also contributing to the birth of a new generation of local swimmers. Eleven swimmers will be competing at home in Dubai, including 17-year-old Yaaqoub Youssef Al Saadi, who recently took part in the Barcelona world championships and will play his best card in the 200 backstroke.
    "It will be a good test but we must be realistic and not expect medals", the president of the UAE swimming federation Ahmad Al Falasi told Gulfnews. "Our school however is growing and we will be able to climb on the podium already at the 2015 world junior swimming championships".
    Among athletes tipped as potential winners are Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte, 16, who won an Olympic gold in London and a world championship in Barcelona in the 100 breast stroke.
    But many stars are also expected to be born in Dubai as proven by the previous world junior championships which uncovered the talent of Spain's Mireira Belmonte Garcia and France's Camille Muffat. Among other swimming stars are Jenna Strauch, who will be competing to win the 10, 100 and 200 breast stroke, while the US will bring 36 athletes including front crawl star Kathryn McLaughlin and breast crawl talent Gunnar Bentz along with Becca Mann who debuted in the world championship in Barcelona last month. A lot is also expected of Chinese swimmers at the event. (ANSAmed).

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