Going Out: With the Mina Mile Open Water you can swim to your goal

Jay Asser 8/11/2015
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Go against the tide: Swimming is one of the most beneficial sports for your body.

The Mina Mile Open Water Swim Series is back, this time with the support of COÉGA Sunwear to encourage swimmers young and old to get active.

As part of the Go Sport Super Series, organised by Super Sports Events and sanctioned by the Dubai Sports Council and UAE Swimming Federation, the first COÉGA Sunwear Mina Mile event will take place on Saturday, November 21.

Open to both adults and children, swimmers can hit the waters at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina.

– Swimming: Larkin stuns field to win 100m backstroke
– INTERVIEW: Le Clos explains Phelps rift

– Swimming: Stjepanovic on form in 100m freestyle

Various distances are on offer for swimmers ranging from more experienced to novice to test their abilities.

The 200 metre swim is for ages 12 and under only, while anyone can attempt the 400m, 800m and 1,600m.

You aren’t limited to just one distance either, as you are able to swim as many of the categories as you would like. Bring the whole family and challenge each other in a healthy environment.

“As a home-grown swimwear brand, it’s great to be involved in a local event that encourages people of all ages to take to the water and be fit and active,” said Maureen Hall, founder and CEO of COÉGA Sunwear.

“COÉGA Sunwear is committed to supporting local sports teams and initiatives like the COÉGA Sunwear Mina Mile. We also sponsor ice hockey, junior netball teams and a dragon boat team in Dubai.”

For the fifth year running, COÉGA Sunwear will also have its ‘Drop Your Shorts’ campaign during the event, in which you can donate gently used swim shorts at the stand. The shorts will be laundered and then given to local labourers for a good cause.

Swimmers and visitors can also win a bumper COÉGA Sunwear goodie bag by visiting the COÉGA stand, taking a complimentary photo and tagging @COEGASunwear when they upload it to their social media accounts.

Registration for the event can be done online at www.supersportsdubai.com, with Wednesday, November 18 the final day to sign up.

Fit and active: Together with COÉGA Sunwear the event promises to be as popular ever.

The entry fee is Dh150 for ages 19 and older and Dh100 for 18 and younger. A 50 per cent discount is available for families of four or more entering.

Included in the registration are a swim hat and other COÉGA Sunwear goodies.

Make sure to arrive on the day by 07:00 when registration opens, with the prize giving ceremony concluding the day at 11:15.

What: Mina Mile Open Water Swim Series
When: Saturday, November 21 beginning at 07:00
Where: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai
Contact: Visit www.supersportsdubai.com to sign up and for more information

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Cameron van der Burgh anticipates fastest-ever Olympics

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Van der Burgh won eight consecutive 50m & 100m breaststroke golds.

Breaststroke sensation Cameron van der Burgh believes competing and winning the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup series has helped boost his confidence as he looks ahead to what he says will be “the fastest Olympics ever”.

– World Cup: Hosszu wins 8th consecutive 400m IM
– World Cup: Larkin stuns 100m backstroke field
– Swimming: Stjepanovic on form in 100m freestyle

Van der Burgh pulled off a clean sweep by winning the 50m and 100m breaststroke events in all eight stops of the World Cup series to claim his third overall title and first since 2009.

The South African former world record holder wrapped up his season with gold in the 100m on Saturday night at the Hamdan Sports Complex, clocking 59.05 seconds to beat his rival Adam Peaty, who is the current world champion and world record holder.

Van der Burgh and Peaty will provide one of the most exciting match-ups in the pool at the Rio Olympics next year and the pair are looking forward to pushing each other to their limits.

At Worlds in Kazan this year, Van der Burgh broke the 50m world record in the heats before Peaty re-broke it six hours later.

More of the same should be expected in Rio.

“It’s fun. It’s awesome. I think it’s a great competitive nature that’s brought up between the two of us,” Van der Burgh told Sport360.

“It’s definitely one of the most anticipated races for the Olympics next year, it’s going to be so close, a real dogfight until the end. So whoever is going to win they’re going to have to give some really special performance.

“Also of course you can’t exclude the other guys, Ross Murdoch and others… I think whoever is going to win, it will be a new world record and it’s going to be really fast. It’s going to be the fastest Olympics ever.”

The 27-year-old admits losing to Peaty in Kazan was tough to swallow and was happy to get the better of the Brit in the World Cup series in Doha and Dubai.

“It’s boosted my confidence a lot. Psychologically, I was very happy with my swims at Worlds but missing out to Adam by such a small margin it is a little bit bittersweet. So to be able to race him here, and get him by such small margins has definitely helped my confidence a lot,” said Van der Burgh.

Dubai’s Velimir Stjepanovic had an impressive 200m freestyle Saturday night which saw an incredibly close finish but once again he had to settle for silver behind British world champion James Guy, who edged the Serb by a mere 0.03 seconds.

Chad Le Clos won the 100m butterfly in 51.09 and claimed silver in the 50 freestyle to beat Mitch Larkin to second place in the overall series standings by just six points.

“I’m in the best mental state I’ve been in a long time and I think next year is going to be great,” said Le Clos. 

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Katinka Hosszu wins eighth consecutive 400m individual medley

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Katinka Hosszu won 30 gold medals in the 2015 World Cup series.

Katinka Hosszu laughed at the idea of renaming the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup to the “Iron Lady Cup” but considering she has captured her fourth consecutive overall title of the series on Saturday in Dubai, the governing body of the sport might as well consider it.

– Swimming: Larkin stuns field to win 100m backstroke
– INTERVIEW: Le Clos explains Phelps rift
– Swimming: Stjepanovic on form in 100m freestyle

Hosszu, dubbed the Iron Lady for her inconceivable versatility which sees her contest multiple events in multiple strokes each meet, has amassed 152 victories in the World Cup series since 2012, including a whopping 30 gold medals in the 2015 edition, which concluded with its eighth and final stop in Dubai Saturday night.

The 26-year-old Hungarian, a world champion and world record holder, fittingly topped the podium in the very last event of the World Cup series, completing a sweep in the 400m individual medley across all eight stops, by clocking 4:33.88 – her fastest time of the series (she also swept the 200IM).

Katinka Hosszu completed a sweep in the 400m individual medley.

“I was really happy and surprised with my time in the 400IM actually. My best before in this series was 4:36 so coming 4:33, I was really happy with that. I had to try to stay focused, I knew I already won (the series) and I had one more last race, and a pretty hard one, but I’m really happy that I was able to stay focused,” said Hosszu after collecting her $100,000 cheque for winning the overall title, and $50,000 for winning the cluster.

Hosszu has been pushing the physical and mental boundaries of world swimming and even her colleagues feel she is taking the sport to another level.

“Katinka did two really world-class swims right before that 400, so she’s just in another league. It’s so impressive to swim next to her and be like near her level of performance because she’s just so inspiring and what she’s done for swimming I think is so great, especially for women in swimming,” said New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle after edging Hosszu in the 400m freestyle to take gold in 4:04.26.

“I think it’s not just the multiple events thing, she’s so good at the sprints and the 400. Like she’s the world record holder in the 200 medley and she’s so close to the world record in the 400 medley. Her 100 backstroke is so amazing.

“It’s also that she’s a more mature athlete and she’s reaching these levels at the age of 26 and I think a lot of old school people have in their minds that swimmers have to be young to perform but she’s just showing that her highest strengths are coming as she gets older, so it’s fantastic.”

Hosszu, who is yet to win an Olympic medal despite being a multiple-time world champion, is proud of what she’s been accomplishing in the sport.

She’s long proven herself in the 25m pool but this year, with the World Cup series held in 50m Olympic-sized pools for the first time to help swimmers qualify for Rio next year, Hosszu has also shown her mettle in long course.

“It feels great that she (Boyle) said that. After London 2012 it was on my mind that I really want an Olympic medal. But since then so much has changed that for me actually it’s not really the end goal or the ultimate goal,” explained Hosszu.

“I really would like to push swimming further and influence the sport that when I stop I’d look back and say ‘wow that was awesome’ and that I really did something that hopefully inspired others as well. So hearing such things it feels great.”

On winning her fourth World Cup overall crown, and first in the long course pool, she added: “It definitely feels pretty great and gives me a lot of confidence for next year also. That was one thing I was really hoping for before the World Cup that it would help me get better in long course and it definitely did. If I’m looking at my times throughout the eight stops, I swam the fastest here in Dubai. I should be super tired and run down with all the traveling and the races, I swam a lot of races, yet still this was my best stop. I swam the fastest here in all my events.”

Australian Emily Seebohm was named Swimmer of the Meet and she wrapped up her World Cup season by completing a sweep in the 100m backstroke, winning eight from eight. A three-time gold medallist at Worlds in Kazan this year, Seebohm was going for the world record last night but fell 0.39 seconds short.

Emily Seebohm (c) was named Swimmer of the Meet.

“I probably shouldn’t have gone shopping today,” Seebohm said laughing after her win.

While she may have not broken the world record, she joked that at least she earned some lucrative prize money to cover the designer handbag she picked up from the mall on Saturday.

“It was awesome to get the clean sweep in the 100. Going sub-59 in the whole way through has been really good. I’m not disappointed at all,” said the 23-year-old Aussie.

Jamaican Alia Atkinson wanted to go sub-30 seconds in the 50m breaststroke but was still pleased with her gold medal-winning 30.26 last night.

American Felicia Lee won her third gold of the meet as the Stanford alum clocked 26.69 in the 50m butterfly.

Turkish 17-year-old Viktoria Zeynep Gunes continued to impress this year as she claimed 200m breaststroke gold in 2:22.87. Gunes is originally Ukrainian but fled her country due to the war there and has been representing Turkey this year. She dazzled at the World Junior Championships last August winning four gold, clocking times that were better than those that won the World Aquatics in Kazan.

“Oh I’m so happy, because this morning was some difficulties but now, all good,” said an elated Gunes.

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