Doha- The Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) will host long-distance swimmers, who will compete over 10km course in the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series 2021 Doha (QAT) to be staged at the stunning Katara Beach on March 13.
A total of 99 swimmers – 66 male and 33 female athletes – along with 65 team officials from 27 countries will participate in the season-opening meet.
The QSA under the guidance of Ministry of Public Health will organize the event by following strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure health and safety of athletes, officials and all other stakeholders. The athletes will remain in bio-secure zones throughout the event.
The FINA Marathon Swim World Series races, which Doha hosted for the first time in 2018, is adding valuable experience and expertise as QSA prepares to organize the Doha 2023 FINA World Championships.
The field confirmed for the first meet includes many top ranked athletes for both the races.
Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA), who won in Doha last year, will defend his men’s title against a strong line-up also including Kristof Rasovszky (HUN) – gold medalist at 2019 World Aquatics Championships (5km). Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), Olympic and World long course and short course champion, and Fares Zitouni (FRA) will be the other main contenders in the men’s race.
The women’s field is even more star-studded with open water marathon maestro Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), returning to Doha, where she emerged victorious in 2019.
Last year, Cunha finished second behind Leonie Beck (GER), who clinched her maiden title in the series. Beck will also return to Doha – one of her favourite stops – as she also took second position here in 2018. Other leading athletes confirmed for women’s race include Rio Olympics silver medalist Rachele Bruni (ITA), Arianna Bridi (ITA) – 25km winner at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships – and Lara Grangeon de Villele (FRA).
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee