Sates, McKeon look to continue fine run in Swimming WC Doha

Overall ranking leaders Matthew Sates of South Africa and Emma McKeon of Australia are among the top-ranked swimmers, who will take part in the upcoming FINA Swimming World Cup Doha 2021.  

Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) has finalised the line-up for the third meet of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2021, which will be held at the Hamad Aquatic Centre, Aspire Zone from October 21 to 23. The penultimate meet of the World Cup series promises thrilling races as the star-studded field looks to secure maximum points before heading to Kazan, Russia, which will be the final stop of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2021 from October 28 to 30. Athletes will come to Doha after competing in Berlin and Budapest meets.

Rising South African star Sates, who was the overall winner in Berlin, will come to the Qatari capital with an overall lead over second-placed American Tom Shields – a Budapest winner – in the men’s field. Shields was in brilliant form last week as he set a new American record in the 50 fly (25m), hitting 21.99 to overtake Caeleb Dressel’s former mark of 22.04.  

Dutchman Arno Kamminga, who bagged two silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics, will also attempt to improve his third ranking in Doha. Rio Olympics gold medallist Kyle Chalmers of Australia occupying fourth spot in the men’s individual ranking – and Lithuanian Danas Rapsys (fifth) are also set to compete at the Hamad Aquatic Center.         

Overall winner at FINA SWC 2019, Vladimir Morozov of Russia and his countryman Anton Chupkov have also confirmed their participation. Chupkov reversed his retirement decision and will participate in the swimming event for the first time after the Tokyo Olympics.     

Tough races are also expected in women’s competitions led by McKeon, who clinched four gold and three bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics. The Aussie topped overall ranks both in the Berlin and the Budapest meets, and she will look to extend her lead in the Doha stop.

McKeon is being followed by Dutchwoman Kira Toussaint – European Championships Budapest 2020 gold medallist – on second position in the ranking. Two more Aussies, Madison Wilson and Holly Barratt – third and fourth in the ranking respectively – will also participate along with fifth-placed Swedish Michelle Coleman. Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa, who claimed one gold and a silver medal besides setting a world record in the 200m breaststroke at the Tokyo Games, is also coming to Doha. Hungarian star Zsuzsanna Jakabos and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands are the other athletes listed in the line-up.

Meanwhile, hosts Qatar will also field 13 of their promising swimmers in the home meet. The team also includes Abdulaziz al-Obaidly, who represented Team Qatar at the Tokyo Olympics.

Qatar Team: Abdulaziz al-Obaidly, Abdullatif Ebrahim, Abdulla Ali, Mohamed Fahad, Nour Eddine, Mohamed Ali, Hamza Mahmoud, Mohamed Aziz, Abdulrahman Ali, Abdulla Jassim, Yousef Abdulaziz, Khalid Fahad, Ibrahim Ahmed.

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