Doha, The organizing committee of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series Doha 2019 held on Thursday a press conference announcing the Marathon which will be held on Saturday with the participation of 136 Swimmers from around the world.
Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) President and FINA Bureau Member Khaleel Al Jabir, and International Swimming Federation (FINA) Technical Delegate John West, alongside Olympic Gold Medalist Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) and Simone Ruffini (ITA) spoke on the occasion.
"I would like to welcome all the swimmers for the FINA Marathon, we are holding the event for the second time and I am happy the number has increased from the last time. We are ready to host these world's best swimmers," said Khaleel Al Jabir.
"Qatar will host this FINA Marathon till 2021 and it is very good for us as everybody knows Qatar will host the World Championships in 2023, where this competition is one of the events. We are getting a lot of experience by hosting this competition, as we prepare for the World Championships, in which more than 15,000 athletes will take part in Doha," he added.
On the Qatari participation QSA president said that two Qataris will be participating in the tournament, namely Abdulrahman Hesham and Ahmed Tariq. The participation of Qatari swimmers comes as part of preparing them for future events, he added.
Al Jabir stressed that QSA attaches great importance to all aquatics, pointing that hosting such international events helps advancing the swimmers' abilities and experience.
On organizing the Doha Open Water Challenge Championship on Friday, which precedes the first round of the FINA Marathon Swim, QSA pesident Khalil Al Jaber said: "The aim of the Doha Open Water Challenge Championship is to provide the public with the opportunity to participate in a race that takes place in the same course as the World Championships in an exclusive and unique experience where they can enjoy all the facilities and equipment of the world champions.
FINA Technical delegate John West said: "Over the past couple of days, we have been reviewing all the arrangements for the competition, and we are very pleased with the level of organization and cooperation we are receiving. We would like to thank QSA for hosting the opening meet of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2019."
"We give a report on every event. Those reports identify how the competition ran and also if there is room for improvement. Every year we try to make improvements just to make the event better. I think I am very happy about all of the details that we are receiving," he said adding "We have a very strong field. We have good conditions so we are looking forward to a very good race".
"Conditions are looking very good. I like the water temperature, I like 20 degrees. The course is excellent again like last year and its always good to be back in Doha," said Van Rouwendaal.
"Last year, I ended up winning it though my preparations were not good. This year, I feel strong but the other girls are also strong. The field will be strong and tough so I will try my best," she added.
A total of 136 swimmers including 84 male and 52 female athletes from 24 countries are taking part in this spectacular event.
The day prior to the FINA Marathon, Qatari residents will participate in the Corniche waters, swimming the same course at the Doha Open Water Challenge on February 15.
A total of 338 swimmers have signed up for different categories available in the event, which is open to the public.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee