Kazan Arena Almost Ready For FINA World Championships (Video)

Kazan Arena 2015 world championships
Photo Courtesy: Kazan 2015

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By Maria Dobysheva

With less than 50 days left until the FINA World Championships starts in Kazan, the transformation of the venues for the multi-sport competition is almost complete. Kazan has successfully hosted different sport events and holds unofficial status of Russian sports capital, with its local sport teams among the most decorated in the country and the city doing well with the World University Games in 2013. The Rubin football team, one of Kazan’s sports trademarks and multiple national champion, will turn over its brand-new Kazan Arena for two weeks of synchronized swimming and pool swimming competition at the World Championships.

Transforming an existing venue into a temporary swimming arena is not new. Last year, the European swimming championships was held in a velodrome with a 50-meter swimming pool set up on its ground level. The 2013 world championships held the synchronized swimming and pool swimming in the Palau Sant Jordi, a multi-purpose arena that housed tens of thousands of screaming fans. Kazan built the Aquatics Palace for the World University Games, but with a capacity of only 4,200 it was not big enough to serve a major swim meet. The Aquatics Palace will be the site for diving competition in July in Kazan.

According to FINA, this year’s competitions will attract the most attention. So far, a total of 100,000 tickets have been sold, and the number of TV viewers is anticipated to hit 4 billion worldwide. Swimming is traditionally the main focus of the world championships, which called for the host city to install a temporary pool for swimming and synchronized swimming in the 11,000-seat Kazan Arena. Open water swimming and high-diving competitions will take place at the Kazanka River, a tributary of the Volga with 1,500 spots installed for spectators.

Video: Kazan 2015 organizers discuss renovating Kazan Arena (in Russian)

“We have a great team and a great interaction with FINA inspectors,” said Russian Swimming President Vladimir Salnikov. “We do our best to host the best World Championships and make it unique.”

An interesting feature of the Kazan Arena is the partial ceiling constructed for the event. Normally, Kazan Arena is an open-air venue for the city’s football team.

“A roof built for the Kazan Arena makes participants and spectators feel safe and comfortable, protects them from weather surprises while (the air maintains) an outdoor quality,” Salnikov said. “Sometimes the quality of air is questionable, but it’s not an issue at the Kazan Arena.”

Artist’s rendering of the completed transformation of Kazan Arena

Kazan arena rendering for 2015 world championships

Photo Courtesy: Kazan 2015

A record 48 nations will be competing at Kazan this summer, a record number according to FINA. Right after Worlds, Kazan will host the Masters World Championships in the same facilities for thousands of excited competitors. All the facilities have been inspected by FINA and members of national federations from all over the world give it a seal of approval.

“Hopefully we’ll host a successful event,” said Igor Kartashov, a member of the FINA technical committee. “Our readiness and infrastructure are not under question. Welcome to Kazan!”

1 comment

  1. Perttu Super

    Hooray Putin? Sorry but I wonder who in FINA supports arranging propaganda opportunities for the Russian Dictatorship? Large sports events like this are not apolitical as they can and are used as tools of propaganda by States and administrations