BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- The fourth edition of the FINA World Aquatics Gala "Soiree des Etoiles", an evening fully dedicated to pay tribute to the aquatic stars of the year, will be held in Sanya City, China, December 2, as FINA announced here during the FINA /airweave Swimming World Cup 2017 - Beijing here on Saturday.
"Even it is two weeks earlier than the Gala to be held in Sanya, I have to tell you that it is one the most important moment to the aquatic sport. With this occasion, we will celebrate the greatest athletes in the world, in all FINA discipline, diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, marathon.etc...Everybody will enjoy it. The gala provides the most prestigious moment in aquatics. A lot of talents, including Chinese talents will attend the Gala, such as Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen," said Cornel Marculescu, FINA executive director during a press conference.
Marculescu said China is a great partner to FINA. "We have organized a lot of events every year in China, water polo, diving, swimming, and world championships. Next year, the short course world championships will be held in Hangzhou."
"We also want to say thank you for the the great job Sanya have done for the Gala, as well as our partner Ali Sport," Marculescu said.
The best athletes of the year, to be announced on December 2, have been chosen through a selection process which looks at the points collected at the most important FINA events and according to the athletes' respective ranking. In swimming, world records points also count.
The "Soiree des Etoiles" (Evening of the Stars) was first held in Doha, Qatar, in December 2014, following the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the FINA World Aquatics Convention. It was then organized in Budapest, Hungary, where the best athletes of 2015 were awarded and in Windsor, Canada in December 2016 to praise the 2016 winners.