Lausanne (SUI), March 28, 2012: A tough competitive field awaits the 12 water polo teams for the Men’s Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament to be held at the Kinsmen Sports Centre in Edmonton (Alberta, CAN) from April 1-8, 2012. Only the highest-ranked four teams will secure London berths to join the world’s best water polo squads in the fight for top honours in Olympic waters from July 29 to August 12 at the Water Polo Arena, a temporary venue located alongside the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park. The participating teams are divided in two groups, as follows:
Group A: FYR of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania
Group B: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Turkey, Venezuela
The eight-day competition programme includes preliminary rounds from April 1-5, the quarter final round on the 6th, semi final round on the 7th and final round scheduled for the 8th.
Among the heavy favourites to win in Edmonton are water polo powerhouses Greece, Montenegro and Spain. Montenegro won the FINA Water Polo World League in 2009 while closest challenger Spain captured gold at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, was twice World champion (1998 and 2001) and Greece finished fourth at their home Games in 2004.
Strong rivals that could create a surprise in Edmonton are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Romania, while teams that have recently appeared on the international water polo stage – Turkey, FYR of Macedonia and Venezuela – will also aim at Olympic target. Those already having booked their London tickets are Australia, Croatia, Great Britain (as host), nine-time and reigning Olympic champion Hungary, current World champion Italy, Kazakhstan, World League and World Cup title holder Serbia and the United States.
First-ever 10km Marathon Swimming race to be held in Eilat (ISR)
Eilat’s North beach (ISR) will stage its first open water event as part of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2012 on Sunday April 1. The thrilling race is a two-hour effort that will be completed in six laps of a 1.66 kilometre-long circuit.
The third of eight meets will also serve as a test run for athletes to fine-tune their preparation for the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier to be held in Setubal (POR) from June 9-10. Since its entry in the Olympic programme, marathon swimming has seen a growing number of swimmers taking to the open water, thus considerably heightening the level of competition.
Reigning World champion Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE), winner of the first two races in Santos (BRA) and Viedma (ARG), is currently the top favourite in the distance this season. The Greek open water swimming icon yet faces an experienced field of swimmers, such as Richard Weinberger (CAN), Evgeny Drattsev (RUS), Charles Peterson (USA) and Christian Reichert (GER).
Among women, it will also be a hard-fought race with 2011 World Cup winner Angela Maurer (GER) facing pressure from fierce podium contenders: World silver-medallist Martina Grimaldi (ITA), Eva Fabian (USA), Nadine Reichert (GER) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA).
Follow all results & rankings on FINA.ORG
10th FINA World Swimming Officials Seminar in Tokyo (JPN) In the spotlight
The 10th FINA World Swimming Officials Seminar will welcome 111 participants from 58 member federations in Tokyo (JPN) from April 12-15, 2012. The Members of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, Chairman Carol Zaleski (USA), Vice Chairman Don Blew (AUS), Honorary Secretary Soren Korbo (DEN) and FINA Vice President and Bureau Liaison Dale Neuburger (USA), will be leading the four-day event, which is organised in cooperation with the Japan Swimming Federation.
The Seminar’s main objective is to provide a meeting opportunity for Swimming Officials from around the world to exchange knowledge and strengthen expertise in respect of both FINA Swimming Rules and practice at international competitions. The Seminar promises to be highly interactive with small groups discussions planned every day. A special session will be organised for those officiating at the 2012 London Olympic Games on the last day.
Chinese prowess expected to impress in Moscow (RUS)
The top-level FINA/Midea Diving World Series continue with a third stop in Moscow (RUS) from April 13-14, 2012. Chinese divers currently lead the rankings in all events.
Among men, Chong He is number 1 in the 3m springboard with Troy Dumais (USA) in the position of runner-up and Yahel Castillo (MEX) completing the top-3. In 10m platform, Bo Qiu comfortably dominates the event, followed by Thomas Daley (GBR) and David Boudia (USA), second and third, respectively.
In the women’s field, the duel for the gold in the 3m springboard is playing out between two Chinese talents, Minxia Wu and Zi He. The first won in Dubai (UAE) but was edged out by the latter in Beijing (CHN). In any case, the two Chinese have a firm lock on the 1-2 spots. Tania Cagnotto (ITA) picked up two bronze medals so far. In the 10m platform, Ruolin Chen remains the dominant force while Pandelela Rinong Pamg (MAS) looks strong with two silvers and Paola Espinosa (MEX) is third.
Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)
The Fédération Internationale de Natation, FINA (founded in 1908) is the governing body for aquatics worldwide. Its five disciplines – Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming – are all included in the Olympic programme. FINA organises World Championships, World Swimming Championships in 25m-pool and World Masters Championships every two years. FINA counts 202 affiliated National Federations on the five continents and has its headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).
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