DOHA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- A total of 99 swimmers from 27 countries and regions are ready to compete in the first leg of the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series 2021 which will be staged in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday March 13.
According to a FINA press release on Thursday, the season-opening meet will take a very strict COVID-19 protocol as all of the athletes, coaches and officials will remain in controlled and protected zones throughout the event.
Olympic champion Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands, Olympic bronze medallist Marc-Antoine Olivier of France, 2019 FINA World Championships gold medallist (5km) Kristof Rasovszkyof Hungary, Olympic and world champion Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy will lead the men's field while world champion Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil, Rio 2016 silver medallist Rachele Bruni of Italy are among the women's party.
Following the virtual press conference with the Qatar Swimming Association President Khaleel Al Jabirearly early on Thursday, FINA President Dr.Julio C. Maglione said "we are coming back to normal life."
"Since the beginning of this year, with global vaccination plans being implemented in most of the countries, we see some light in the end of the tunnel."
"Our competitions resumed in January, respecting strict sanitary and health protocols. This will be the case also in Doha. I am sure that our marathon swimmers have been waiting for this day with joy and enthusiasm. We are coming back to a sort of 'normal life' and everyone is excited to compete again!" Maglione said.
There are 10 legs of the 2021 calender of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series and the second stop comes to Seychelles on May 9. Enditem