Doha Open Water Challenge 2020 a huge success

162 swimmers participate in exciting races; focus now shifts to FINA Marathon at Katara Beach Doha (QAT), 14.02.2020: From aspiring teenage swimmers to amateur athletes in their 50s, many participants took the plunge at the shore of Katara Beach to showcase their skills as Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) hosted another successful edition of the Doha Open Water Challenge on Friday. A total of 162 local swimmers competed in the event, which took place on the eve of season-opening FINA /CNSG Marathon Swim World Series Doha (QAT) 2020. The 800m races featuring men and women swimmers of different age categories were held in four waves, with each one offering a plenty of excitement as the participants competed in good conditions. As many as 40 swimmers took part in the first three waves each with the fourth and last wave consisting of 42 competitors. The purpose of the Doha Open Water Challenge, which was held for the third consecutive year in the Qatari capital, is to enable the public to swim the same course and enjoy the same facilities for a day, which the leading athletes of the world experience. As the event started, the swimmers particularly the youngsters showed a lot of enthusiasm as they swam in front of a good number of spectators. Aday Alvarez, who participated in men’s 30-34 age category, gave thumbs up to QSA’s organization for the event. “It was a good race and the level of competition was also good,” said Alvarez. “The water was not cold and it was good for the competition. This is the third time I am competing in this challenge and every time I can see improvement in the organization,” he added. Helen Dobson, who took part in women's 45-49 race, said: "It was an amazing race. I would like to thank the organizers for giving us the opportunity to compete in this event.” The spectacular event culminated with an impressive presentation ceremony in which the podium finishers were handed the medals. Focus will now shift to the FINA Marathon Swim World Series Doha (QAT) 2020, which will be held at the same venue on Saturday. With swimmers gearing up for this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, the Doha marathon has attracted all the big open water stars. A total of 136 swimmers including 82 male and 54 female athletes from 34 countries are taking part in the first meet, which will be followed by nine more stops. Florian Wellbrock (GER) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) will start as defending champions in men and women’s races in Doha respectively. The women’s race will kick off at 11am while the men’s marathon will start at 1pm. Winners: Doha Open Water Challenge 2020 Boys 15-17: Moaz Ahmed Saleh Girls 15-17: Samantha Maries Banas Men 18-24: Michael Berendt Women 18-24: Yelyzaveta Shyrydeha Men 25-29: Pavlo Nikonorov Women 25-29: Shiela Marie Ruiz Men 30-34: Naoufel Charaf Women 30-34: Ana Milena Gomez Men 35-39: Vadym Women 35-39: Isora Sosa Men 40-44: Adem Allalou Women 40-44: Daniela Sposi Men 45-49: Paul Crooks Women 45-49: Lynn Kelley Men 55-59: Dmytro Siversky

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