The step up to the diving block; the hush of the crowd as the instruction of “Take your marks” is called; the glorious splash as skin and lycra thunder into the water breaking the tension of the previous minutes.
Swimming will forever capture the imagination of fans and non-aficionados alike and this December Abu Dhabi will take the plunge as the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) comes to Yas Island’s Etihad Arena.
But the masters of the water are not the only aspect of the championships for Abu Dhabians to dive into.
THE FINA MARKET STREET & VILLAGE
Spreading its wingspan over the Etihad Arena and the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, The FINA Market Street & Village will continue the entertainment from the pool into the surrounds of Yas Bay.
Offering a chance to come up for air from the intense competition in the water, the event village is packed with family-friendly activities, divided into four zones; FINA Partner Commercial Zone, F&B Chill Zone, Entertainment Stage Zone and Local Exhibitor Zone; where they can experience delicious food from near and afar, live performances onstage and by roaming buskers, and local exhibitions where you can explore traditional crafts and customs.
Swim fans will also get the opportunity to meet their heroes on dry terra firma where they can get themselves a snap and signature during The Champions Experience held every afternoon.
And with a massive 700 square metre LED video screen constructed on to the Etihad Arena, fans do not have to choose between the swimming and the treats of the village.
FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS (25M)
Taking place from Thursday 16 to Tuesday 21 December 2021, the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will showcase the very best in aquatic sporting talent, providing both local and international fans with the opportunity to watch top-quality competitive swimming action in the heart of Abu Dhabi.
The FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will feature men’s and women’s events in all four strokes; freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly; along with the individual medley and relays.
Across the six days, fans can cheer on more than 1,000 athletes from more than 180 nations, competing for 44 World Championship titles, for a total $2.8 million prize pool.
The tournament attracts the biggest names in the world of swimming with Tunisia’s Olympic gold medallist Ahmed Hafnaoui ready to dive in.
On the home front, much is hoped for Emirati prospects, Layla Al Khatib, and Youssef Al Matrooshi, who represented the UAE in Tokyo in the 100-metre freestyle events.
THE AQUATICS FESTIVAL
Swimming in parallel to the world championships is The FINA Aquatics Festival which will serve up even more action in the form of new FINA disciplines.
Fans can marvel at the contortions and agility of divers as they aim to qualify for the 19th FINA World Championship in Fukuoka in Japan next year and admire the endurance of competitors in the final leg of FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series.
Those in attendance will also be the first to experience two new formats, the open water swimming mixed relay of two men and two women and the FINA Diving Team Exhibition which will see divers attempt to master distances of three and 10 metres from the diving platforms.
To book your tickets visit fina-abudhabi2021.com