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Friday, May 7, 2021

World’s top swimmers arrive in Qatar as political spats cast shadow

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Swimmers compete last August in the Qatar leg of the FINA World Cup.
Swimmers compete last August in the Qatar leg of the FINA World Cup.

A record-setting 900-plus athletes are slated to compete in this week’s FINA 25-meter World Swimming Championships in Doha, as Qatar plays host to one of the largest aquatic events in the world.

The championship, which runs from Dec. 3 to 7, is deemed the most global important short-course event and there are few swim meets – save for the Olympics – that rival its prestige.

A full schedule of events, as well as a link to a live feed, can be found on the home page of the championships.

All races will take place at the Hamad Aquatic Center in the Aspire Zone.

This is the third major FINA event Qatar has hosted in slightly more than a year, following Swimming World Cup races in October 2013 and this past August.

As Qatar continues to bolster its reputation as a global athletics hub, the next few days will shine a light on the country’s ability to separate political conflicts from its role as a host of international sporting events.

Politics in the pool

Organizers are likely worrying about more than a false start or faulty flip turn, as the upcoming championships haven’t escaped recent diplomatic tensions in the region.

Tensions between Qatar and Egypt continue to simmer.
Tensions between Qatar and Egypt continue to simmer.

Last month, Egypt announced its national team was withdrawing from the meet. Relations between Cairo and Doha are frosty, and Egypt’s FINA decision was widely interpreted to be part of an ongoing show of disapproval for Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Gulf state supported former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who was overthrown in mid-2013, and is also home to Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

The Egyptian-born cleric, who holds Qatari citizenship, has criticized the military-backed government in Cairo.

Earlier this year, Egypt stated it had no intention of returning its recalled ambassador to Qatar in the near future.

While Saudi Arabia recently called on Egypt to mend rifts between Qatar and other Arab countries, the conciliatory language has so far failed to lead to the return of Egypt’s ambassador to Doha or the country’s participation in this week’s FINA championship.

For its part, a FINA spokesperson has been quoted as saying it “regrets the Egyptian Swimming Federation decision to not take part.”

According to Swimming World Magazine, it’s unusual for countries to withdraw from meets of this size due to political disputes.

Eyes on Israel

The tension between Qatar and Egypt isn’t the only political dispute casting a shadow on the upcoming FINA meet.

For illustrative purposes only.
For illustrative purposes only.

Controversy arose during last year’s championship in Qatar after an Israeli flag briefly flew outside the Aspire Zone before being taken down ahead of the FINA Swimming World Cup.

Meanwhile, inside the venue, broadcasters were accused of ignoring Israeli athletes in the pool and making efforts to avoid listing them on results tables.

FINA officials subsequently warned organizers in both Doha and Dubai to act in accordance with rules that ban discrimination on political grounds. This followed several television broadcasts in which Israeli swimmers were not recognized by local broadcasters.

As this year’s event gets set to begin, though, there’s yet to be any controversy as Israel prepares to send a delegation of several swimmers to Doha.

Swimmers to watch

Multiple Olympic medalists will swim this week in Doha, but American Ryan Lochte is one highlight.

Swimmer Ryan Lochte.
Swimmer Ryan Lochte.

He’ll be busy during his few days in Doha, as he’s slated to swim the 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter individual medley and 200-meter medley. He’ll also swim on various relays.

His packed schedule means fans might be able to catch him during a number of final events, which begin each evening at 6 pm.

Breeja Larson and Conor Dwyer will also compete for the United States, which will look to earn the most medals for the fourth consecutive FINA 25-meter World Swimming Championships. Former Olympian Natalie Coughlin also plans to swim in several events.

The Americans, however, won’t be the only top swimmers in Doha.

Katinka Hosszu, who broke three world records at the Doha leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup in August, and Daniel Gyurta, who finished second among the men in the same championships, will compete for Hungary.

World record holders Chad Le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh – both of South Africa – will also make the trip, as will teenager Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania.

Thoughts?

33 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Sweet I had no idea how big this was! Hope it goes smoothly … It’s sad to see Egypt who has pretty good swimmers deny their athletes to participate because of political tensions.. Very childish…

Info give Israel credit they would never pass out on an opportunity tomfoolery and try to win in any championship no matter what …

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You mean like the worlds largest SUV caravan? Largest bowl of spaghetti? Most idiot drivers per square mile? Oh, sorry, that’s Qatar. The only championship they CAN win.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Like I said 100% di ck.. Hope your kid doesn’t grow up as sour as you are … Again I say your Egyptian as over and over again it seems you get pretty sensitive whenever there is an attack on Egypt … But still 100% di ck

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Aren’t you glad to have company?

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

They just won the gulf cup for the third time last week, so you may want to make your insult a little more current

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Oooh the Gulf Cup. Now I AM impressed. lol I was perfectly aware of that. Guess how much coverage it got outside the Gulf? Zero. Longest SUV caravan probably trumps that.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The difference between thinking analytically and say just sharing a subjective opinion, would be by not guessing. Gulf cup was shown on BEIN sports which is satellite and broadcast globally, coverage was also international showing up on bbc, eurosport, jazeera sports, etc. So without going into the numbers too far. already we’ve got viewing figures in the millions outside the gulf and eyes on story also in the millions due to the broad coverage of bbc alone. Also, I’d point out that the other examples you used in your insult were records or record attempts, plus one that appears to be made up. So perhaps it’s worth noting there’s a difference between a record or record attempt and a championship, both in definition and purpose. Just last week Fairy soap, I assume you’ve used, set a record in London for most number of dishes washed with one bottle, vs. say two weeks ago Lewis Hamilton became world champion in F1, both British, one a record for say Guinness and the other a championship sanctioned by the FIA

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

You have the ‘potential’ for millions of viewers. I’d say, in my opinion, that wasn’t the viewership. Unless Qatar is playing no one here gives a crap. So on that fact I’d say those in, say Kuwait, could care less since Kuwait was not playing. Also I’ve asked and not one of my “western” friends even thought about watching it and most had no idea it was going on that day. It’s just not good football. I cannot find one story on BBC of any news it happened. ESPNFC has a 50 sec interview of Saudi coach before game with no story before or after. Eurosport has virtually nil with a link to the team page that shows the final score but no story.

Yes the rest of the world was just riveted by this game and tournament.

My other comment was directed an obvious anti semitic comment about Israeli swimmers. Have they no right to represent their country without politics as A_qtr calls childish yet insults them for the same reason?

I guess Qatar follows the old adage of those who can, do and those who can’t gets to be the hostess with the mostess.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

whereas your comment follows the adage, if you don’t know it…make it up! And if you don’t like it…make something up!

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

I made nothing up. Find me a story NOT in the Gulf covering the result of the game.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

I’d rather contrast your use of the word NOTHING with what youve said in this thread. I read it on bbc and eurosport

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Sorry, there were no stories on either.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Sorry you can’t find them and didn’t see them there.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Give me links sista

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

It was on the app, Ill see what i can dig up later and Ill throw some more viewing figures in as well, as you seem adamant that NOONE saw it outside of gcc. Also have it on good authority that it was plating in cafes across london, turkey and paris

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Yeah yeah. Just get on BBC, Eurosport…and do a search. Not rocket science.

And name your sources it was so well received in London, Paris… LOL

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

primary source. For someone so full of no information, you sure have contradictory standards. I forget what thats called…

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

No contradictions here at all. Stop doublespeaking. I googled 2014 Gulf Cup. Nada outside the region. I looked and did search at your BBC, Eurosport and my ESPNFC, nada.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

I’ll take a screenshot next time for you. I remember the word, it’s hypocritical, you demand sources for reasonable claims against your outrageous claim that no one outside of the GCC saw the gulf cup or reported on it. A quick search of instagram will also show you actual people watching the gulf cup outside of the GCC. Further here’s a reference http://www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/championship and http://www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/record for some future differentiation between the two.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

I never once said no one watch outside the GCC. To claim millions and millions is a bit far fetched. And again you shouldn’t have to take a screenshot. Stories don’t disappear the day they run. It’s called archives. A simple search engine solves the problem. It’s easy. No hypocrites here. Just admit, No one outside this region gave a _ _ _ _ and most outside of Saudi and Qatar didn’t either.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

And now I have a laptop and armed with your web3.0 advice, a quick search of eurosport turns up articles, what you might notice, other than how quickly those searches turned up articles, is that the article is provided by Reuters UK, which is based in London, the story carried by eurosport in this case, further, Reuters syndicates that news, which is likely why it turned up on BBC, eurosport apps and a variety of other mobile or web”applications”, it’s also carried on the reuters, eurosports and jazeera websites

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

LOL such an idj

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Uff fox sports did a feature before the final match as well on Qatar and Saudi Arabia

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

And ESPN have a video leading up to the final
Saudi Arabia and Qatar set for Gulf Cup final

Publish Date: Nov 25, 2014, 10:30 AM ETDuration: 00:50

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

LOL do you read or just react to my posts? Reading is fundamental

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

lol the Gulf cup hehe…

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Israel sends their national team, who are 100% Israelis 😉
I wonder about the real nationalities of any member of any Qatari national team. Word on the street, they make them temporary passports just to compete. But again, Qatar can do what Qatar think is ethical 🙂

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Traffic plan publicised anywhere?

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago

Egypt….they just released Mubarak is that correct? Will that mean he will have access to the reported 700 million + USD that was frozen while he was in jail awaiting acquittal? I mean, Egypt’s too busy to come, doesn’t have to be political!

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

many of us instead will only go to watch the real champion; it is sport, enough of politics.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

I see nipples…

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Ohh, no!

Dany Bravo
Dany Bravo
6 years ago

This championship is going great and World Records are breaking in almost every event. But the sad news is that very few channels broadcasting the event live. I managed to find a good guide for all swimming fans. Check it out and enjoy the live moments
http://www.purevpn.com/blog/fina-swimming-world-championships-2014/

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