(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
The Organising Committee has finalised the list of swimmers for the FINA Marathon Swim World Series Doha (QAT) 2019, which is set to witness top-ranked athletes in action on the scenic Doha Corniche.
A total of 138 swimmers including 87 male and 51 female athletes from 24 countries have signed up for the first meet of FINA Marathon (10km) Swim World Series 2019.
Leading long-distance swimmers, who have confirmed their participation for the spectacular event to be held on February 16, include reigning Olympic champion Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), overall winner of FINA Marathon (10km) Swim World Series 2018.
Khaleel Al Jabir, President of Qatar Swimming Association (QSA), and FINA Bureau member, said preparations are on track for the competition.
'Preparations for the event are progressing well and according to our plans. In few days time, our team will welcome the best open water swimmers of the world in this magnificent set up on the Doha Corniche, said Al Jabir .
'Doha's competition was a successful opener of the World Series in 2018, setting the pace for the coming meets. 138 swimmers will compete in this year's event, which will be a new participation record.
'It will be a promising and exciting competition as many Olympic medalists and World Championships winners will compete in a stunning set up, he added.
Germany and Italy will send the biggest teams comprising an equal number of 13 swimmers (each) to Doha. USA (12 swimmers), China (11) and Hungary (10) will also arrive in the Qatari capital with big contingents.
Van Rouwendaal, who also won last year's meet in Doha, and defending champion Cunha, also the winner in 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series, are among the big names in the women's race.
The other top swimmers, who will take part in the women's event, include Rio Olympic Silver Medalist Rachele Bruni (ITA), Arianna Bridi (ITA), 2018 European Aquatics Championships Gold Medalist in the 25km open water, and Angela Alexandra Maurer (GER), former Silver Medalist at FINA World Championships (25km).
Prominent swimmers in the elite men's line-up include overall winner in 2016 and 2017 Simone Ruffini (ITA), and Jack Burnell (GBR), the last year's overall runner-up in the World Series. Florian Wellbrock (GER), who won the Abu Dhabi stop in 2018, will also participate in the event.
Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), who has several world and European records, and Kazan 2015 Gold Medalist, Jordan Matthew Wilimovsky (USA) will also compete.
Two swimmers from Qatar Abdelrahman Hesham and Ahmed Tarek will also take part in the challenging race.
Ahead of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series Doha (QAT) 2019, QSA will organise the Doha Open Water Challenge, which will see Qatari residents swimming the same course on February 15.