DOHA: Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al Obaidly will have a mountain to climb when he competes at the FINA Swimming World Cup, which begins at the Hamad Aquatic Centre on Thursday.
The competition, which will take place from November 7 to 9, will be the last meet of the FINA Swimming World Cup series, involving seven cities.
The tournament will feature several reigning Olympic and world champions including South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, and Abdulaziz hoped he will give it a best shot.
“I’m prepared for the challenge,” said 17-year-old, who won two gold and a bronze medal at the GCC Aquatics Championships in Kuwait in September.
But he is aware that the event, which is the last one in the World Cup Series, will test his patience and ability.
“I’ve had a good training. I’m ready to compete in the event,” added the Qatari.
Last year, Abdulaziz reached the finals of 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley events.
The GCC champion said his focus will be on to improve the timing in the three events, other being the 200m breaststroke event.
“My first target will be to qualify for the finals and then the time,” said Abdulaziz.
The teenager is one of the 17 swimmers, who will represent the host nation.
The squad also includes Yacob Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi, Yousef Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi and Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamed.
A total of 210 swimmers including 134 male and 76 female athletes from 44 countries will take part in the three-day event.
Doha is the last stop of FINA Swimming World Cup series, and will decide the winners of cluster 3, while the overall winners will also be announced.
It will be the eighth consecutive year for Doha to host a FINA Swimming World Cup event.
The Qatari capital, home to the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2014, will also host the 2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships.
Doha will showcase cluster 3 winners
The race in Doha will showcase the cluster 3 winners and the overall winners with the overall winners receive $150,000.
Morozov is ahead in the men’s overall rankings in the series with 264 points, followed by Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys with 177 points.
USA’s Andrew Michael is third with 132 points.
Campbell is leading the women’s overall rankings with a total of 243 points, followed by Hosszu with 240 points. Sweden’s Michelle Coleman is third with 135 points.
“QSA is honoured to welcome the world’s best swimmers for the FINA Swimming World Cup 2019,” said Qatar Swimming Association President Khaleel Al Jabir. “The strong participation in the event once again reinforces Doha’s status as an elite venue for major swimming events.”