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2012 FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup kicks off in Dubai on October 2nd

Tolentino, 28 September 2012 – For the second year running, Dubai hosts the first meet of the annual FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup, kicking off the 2012 edition that will take in 8 cities over the course of its six-week circuit. Co-sponsored by waterwear brand, Arena, the annual series will also visit Doha (October 6th-7th), Stockholm (October 13th-14th), Moscow (October 17th-18th), Berlin (October 20th-21st), Beijing (November 2nd-3rd), and Tokyo (November 6th-7th), before ending up in Singapore on November 10th and 11th. It is the first time that Qatar and its capital Doha features on the World Cup calendar.

2011 men’s winner Chad Le Clos of South Africa will be one of several Arena Elite Team members competing in Dubai. Fresh from his 200m butterfly gold medal victory over Michael Phelps in London, he reflects that his Olympic experience “far exceeded my expectations, but at the same time, I went in with the attitude to win, nothing less.” He believes he was successful because “I worked very hard, so that I could fulfill my dream.” Le Clos expects to swim all eight meets “and hopefully win the series again.” Looking forward, he says: “The one gold medal that I have not won is the World Long Course Championship, so my goal is to go to Barcelona in 2013 to try and achieve that. After that my preparations for 2016 will continue.”

Other Arena Elite Team members heading to Dubai include 2011 women’s winner Therese Alshammar (Sweden), Olympic gold medallist breaststrokers and world record holders Cameron Van Der Burgh (South Africa) and London 200 IM bronze medallist László Cseh (Hungary), London 4x100m freestyle relay silver medallist Inge Dekker (Netherlands), and London 200m breaststroke semi-finalist Marco Kock (Germany).

Having launched in 1989 as a winter season competition, the World Cup series consists of a varying number of meets each year (historically from five to 12), with each meet typically featuring 17 men’s and women’s events, contested in a 25m pool. In 2012, mixed relays have been included in the programme, with each relay team for the 4x50m freestyle and medley events consisting of two males and two females. Swimmers amass points for their best individual performance in each meet, with total points at the end of the series determining the overall male and female winners, each of whom will take home US$100.000. Total prize money for the series is over US$1,2 million.