Doha, Qatar, will host its first-ever FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series event on Saturday March 17, with the turquoise waters of Doha’s iconic Corniche providing a stunning setting for reigning Olympic and World Champions to go ahead in the 10km open water races.
Doha will open the FINA/HISA Marathon Swim World Series 2018, which features nine legs taking place in some of the world’s most scenic waterways, including the Seychelles, Portugal, Canada, Chinese Tapei, Hungary and China.
115 long distance swimmers (43 women and 72 men) will race on Saturday in Doha.
Speaking ahead of the event, President of the Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) and FINA Bureau Member, Khalil Al Jabir, said:
“It is an honour for Qatar to host another prestigious FINA event and welcome the world’s best open water swimmers to kick off the World Series in Doha. We will apply our experience and knowledge from hosting multiple world-class FINA events, including six FINA World Cups and the 2014 World Swimming Championships (25m) to organise an event to the highest possible level for everyone involved.”
“We hope that this event will continue to support the growth and development of swimming in Qatar as we build up to the 2023 FINA World Championships, the pinnacle event of the aquatics calendar. We invite everyone to come down to the Corniche on March 16 and 17, soak up the atmosphere and cheer on the athletes!”
The women’s elite competition will see an exciting showdown between Rio 2016 Olympic champion, Sharon Van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands, 2017 World Series winner, Arianna Bridi and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist, Rachele Bruni, both of Italy, 2017 World silver medallist Samantha Arevalo of Ecuador and more.
Meanwhile in the men’s competition, Rio 2016 Olympic and 2017 World champion Ferry Weertman (NED) will start as the strong favourite but will face stiff competition from Great Britain’s Jack Burnell, who finished just outside the medals in fourth place at last summer’s World Championships.
Check out the full start list here.
This year’s Series will integrate the OPEN CHALLENGE (mass participation races), organised in parallel of the 10km elite race, on Friday March 16 within the same venue. There will be three categories available for the public in the Doha Open Challenge: 400m for boys and girls aged 11-14, 800m for boys and girls aged 15-17, and 1,200m for boys and girls aged 18 and over.
2018 Marathon Swim World Series Calendar:
#1 – Doha (QAT) – March 17
#2 – Seychelles (SEY) – May 20
#3 – Setubal (POR) – June 9
#4 – Balatonfured (HUN) – June 16
#5 – Lac St Jean (CAN) – July 26
#6 – Lac Megantic (CAN) – August 11
#7 – Chun’An (CHN) – September 16
#8 – Taiwan (TPE) – September 22
#9 – Abu Dhabi (UAE) – November 24
About Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)
The Fédération Internationale de Natation, founded in 1908, is the governing body for aquatics worldwide. FINA’s five discipline Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming – are all included in the Olympic programme. High Diving made its first appearance in FINA events at the 2013 FINA World Championships. FINA counts 209 affiliated National Federations on the five continents and has its headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).
Press release courtesy of FINA.