Gibraltar will be represented at FINA Swimming World Championships
Gibraltar will be represented this week at the 15th edition of the FINA World Championships being held in a Abu Dhabi.
John Paul Balloqui swims in the 200m Butterfly, this Thursday 16th, 10:24am (UAE time) in Heat 1, lane 3. He then also swims on Friday 17th, 100m Butterfly, no race information is available yet.
The second swimmer taking part in the events is Matt Savitz who swims in the 200m freestyle this Friday 17th. He then swims on Saturday 18th in the 50m freestyle. No race informatiom is available yet.
The two swimmers are accompanied by team leader Gavin Santos who yesterday attended the Team Leaders meetings.
The championships started with a press conference with a host of sports governance leaders, including FINA President Husain Al-Musallam, FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki, His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the host of the event, and Sultan Al Samahi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation.
Olympic champion and 1500m freestyle short course world record holder Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) and fellow gold medallist Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) then took to the stage alongside other aquatics athletes competing in the swimming, diving and high diving disciplines.
Ten relay teams entered Yas Bay under a brilliant noon-day sun for open water swimming at the sound of the start horn blown by FINA President Husain Al Mussalam to signal the start of the first-ever mixed team open water relay (4x1500m). Eight of the teams were led off by women, but the strategy for the teams from Kazakhstan and Ukraine was for a male swimmer leading off, looking to find the flat water edge as the two tagged off to their teammates with a pleasant 24.5 second to their advantage.
The President's Relay, the first time an open water event was paired with the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), consists of two male and two female athletes each racing 1500m. At the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, the mixed relay covered a distance of 5km. Today's event was 6km to attract pool swimmers who specialize in the 1500m event to race in open water conditions.
Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy led his relay team to victory in the first Mixed Relay contested at the 6km distance. His split of 15:49.1 was the fastest of the 9 teams. He swam 3.2 seconds faster than Hungary's Kristof Rasovszky who doggedly challenged him in the final lap.
In addition to the 15th edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) that runs from 16-21 December, the competition programme features the FINA Aquatics Festival. A first of its kind, the festival brings the disciplines diving, high diving, and open water swimming alongside the World Championships.