(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) Dubai diving fans will be treated to a world-class event as 74 competitors from 13 countries compete for world series gold
Participants during the previous edition of the Fina/Nvc Diving Championship in Dubai
The superstars of world diving will arrive in Dubai in just over a week, ahead of the second leg of the Fina/Nvc Diving World Series 2014 which will be held at the Hamdan Sports Complex from March 20-22.
With the line-up featuring the holders of 11 current world championship crowns and winners of 7 2012 Olympic gold medals, Dubai diving fans will be treated to a world-class event as 74 competitors from 13 countries compete for world series gold.
The Chinese team is expected to dominate, but the presence of strong teams from Russia, the USA, Germany and Canada in particular will threaten their stranglehold. Ilya Zakharov of Russia and David Boudia of the USA broke through for gold in the London Olympics, while Germany’s Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding topped the podium ahead of the Chinese at the 2013 Barcelona Fina World Championships. All four will be competing in Dubai and are expected to again put the Chinese to the test.
The world class field also includes 8 silver and 9 bronze medallists from the London Olympics, and an incredible 14 silver medallists and 12 bronze medallists from the 2013 Barcelona Fina World Championships, including crowd favourite Tom Daley of the UK.
2009 World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist Daley will join Olympic Champion Boudia, and World Championships bronze medallist Klein in the battle with current World Champion China’s Qiu Bo in the men’s 10m platform event.
After Boudia trumped Qiu for Olympic gold, Qiu turned the tables on him at the 2013 World Championships, taking gold with Boudia collecting the silver. Daley was hampered by an injury, and finished in 6th, but is now back to full fitness and keen to regain his place at the top of the podium.
Ukraine’s Illya Kvasha delighted the Dubai crowds last year when he took gold in the men’s 3m springboard, being the only person to break the Chinese deadlock on the gold medals. After taking silver in Barcelona, Kvasha will again be a huge threat. “We are delighted to be welcoming back the stars of international diving and with such an impressive line-up the action will be breathtaking” said Dr Ahmad Al Sharif, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council. “We saw some incredible diving action at the Diving World Series last year and we are thrilled that Dubai fans will see an Olympic standard event again this year” he added.
In the women’s 3m, He Zi who took the 3m crown from country woman and Olympic champion Wu Minxia in Barcelona, will be challenged by Wu and Olympic bronze medallist Laura Sanchez of Mexico and 2013 silver medallist Tania Cagnotto of Italy, while in the 10m event Chen Ruolin will face tough opposition from Malaysia’s Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg, Ukraine’s Yulia Prokopchuk and Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito. “We are very excited about the quality of the competition and we are hoping for capacity crowds” said Ahmed Al Falasi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation and Chairman of the Organising Committee.
The 2014 Fina/Nvc Diving World Series event consists of six legs and kicks off in Beijing on March 14-16, then travels to Dubai, London, Moscow, Windsor (Canada) before the last leg in Monterrey (Mexico) on June 6-8. Divers compete for prize money and points at each of the six events, in the four categories of 3 metre springboard and 10 metre platform in both solo and synchronised diving.