DUBAI: Asia’s best swimmers, divers, water polo players and synchronised swimmers have all converged on the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex for the 9th Asian Swimming Championships.
Thursday will see the start of the swimming and synchronised swimming competitions which will bring together the finest the continent has to offer.
One of the highlights of the Championships is the participation of four-time Olympic medallist Sun Yang of China who bettered his own 1500m freestyle world record on his way to two golds in London Olympics this summer.
Yang, who attended today’s pre-event press conference, will head a powerful Chinese team who are expected to dominate in swimming, synchronised swimming and diving while Kazakhstan are likely to be the team to beat in the men’s water polo competition.
Dr Ahmad Al Sharif, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of the Organising Committee said: “As you know, this is the first time the Asian Swimming Championships have been held in this format of all four disciplines in one event and one venue, and we are honoured that Dubai has been handed this responsibility as host.
“We are also delighted that Dubai’s spectacular Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex has the capability to achieve this.
“Over 700 athletes from 29 member nations, including numerous world and Olympic champions are in Dubai to compete for the highest honour on the continent.”
President of UAE Swimming Federation, Ahmed Al Falasi said: “The Dubai crowds will get to witness Asia’s best athletes in action.
“Such amazing talent competing here in Dubai will create a legacy for not only swimming but now also diving, synchronised swimming and water polo in the region.
“It’s been an incredible year of aquatic events, with the FINA/Midea Diving World Series held in March, then the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup in October and the first International Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming Championships.
The 9th Asian Swimming Championships will run from Thursday Nov.15 to 25.
The swimming and synchronized swimming competitions will kick off the Championships.
Next on the programme is the water polo running from Nov.19-25 and diving from Nov.22-25.