File Photo Credit: Wong Chek Poh/SportSG
By Malcolm Baey
FINA is the International Federation for swimming. It stands for Fédération Internationale de Natation which is French for International Swimming Federation. The FINA Swimming World Cup is a series of short course swimming meets organized by FINA in multiple cities. The series started in 1998/1999.
Format of FINA Swimming World Cup
The 2013 FINA Swimming World Cup was held in eight different cities between August and November with each swimming meet lasting two days. The cities included Eindhoven (Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Moscow (Russia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Doha (Qatar), Singapore, Tokyo (Japan), Beijing (China).
There were events for freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley, mixed freestyle relay and mixed medley relay. The events are the same for all the meets held in the various cities although the competition order may differ.
FINA World Cup in Singapore
Singapore hosted the swimming meets on the 5th and 6th November at the Singapore Sports School. The swimming meet in Singapore kicked off the first leg of the Asian cluster cities of the competition. This is the first time that Francesca Halsall (Britain), Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), Aleksandra Gerasimenya (Belarus) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands) who are also known as the world’s four fastest female swimmers competed in Singapore.
Chad le Clos and Jamaican Alia Atkinson were the leading male swimmers during the meet held in Singapore while Hungarian Katinka Hosszu was the leading female swimmer. "This is the first time I’m competing in every single meet in the series,” said Atkinson. “I’m a big fan of the Asian cluster and I’ll definitely want to be back, especially in Singapore and Japan - the atmosphere makes it a great place to be".
Chad le Clos from South Africa was competing for his third time in Singapore. He previously competed in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in 2010 at the Singapore Sports School where he claimed five medals. “I have made many good friends in Singapore during my visits,” said Le Clos. “The pool at the Singapore Sports School holds many fond memories for me.”
Singapore Swimmers at FINA World Cup
Singapore's Darren Lim at the FINA World Cup 2013 Swimming heats (Photo credit: TNP / Lim Say Heng).
Swimmers representing Singapore included Tao Li, Amanda Lim, Quah Zheng Wen, Mylene Ong as well as Danny Yeo. Tao Li won the 50m butterfly silver during the swimming meet held in Singapore and did Singapore proud as she finished 18th in the overall score for women. Quah Zheng Wen broke the 200m freestyle national record during the swim meet in Singapore.
World records were also broken in the Singapore leg of the heats including the world record for 4x50m mixed medley relay which was broken by Bobby Hurley, Christian Sprenger, Alicia Coutts and Cate Campbell from Australia who also previously held the world record.
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