KUWAIT: Head of Kuwait and Asian Swimming Federations Sheikh Khalid Al-Bader Al-Sabah said preparations for the 20th FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championship, to be held in Kuwait this Thursday at HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Olympic Swimming Pools Complex at Al-Naser Sports Club are ready. He said 20 national teams will participate under the supervision of the International Federation (FINA).

Sheikh Khalid spoke during a press conference attended by FINA President Dr Juilio Maglione along with several federation officials, Public Authority for Sports (PAS) Deputy Director General for Competitive Sports Dr Saqer Al-Mulla, first Vice-president of FINA, Secretary of Kuwait Olympic Committee Hussein Al-Musallam along with a number of championship sponsors. He said Kuwait’s organization of this major world event contributes to the development of water polo game in Kuwait with preparing facilities and having individuals gain important experience in organizing and managing such events.

Sheikh Khalid Al-Sabah appreciated the support of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, which enabled them to host the championship. He also thanked National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanem for patronizing the event, also thanked FINA officials for their confidence in Kuwait’s federation.

Meanwhile, President of FINA Uruguayan Dr Julio Maglione said the facility where the championship will take place is outstanding and matches those that host Olympic games and world championships. He also pointed out the efforts of the Kuwaiti organizing committee which met all FINA requirements.

He said this championship is the most important on FINA’s agenda until the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, and pointed to the role of his first Vice-President Hussein Al-Musallam in holding the event in Kuwait as part of FINA’s effort to spread the game around the world.
In the meantime, Deputy Director General of PAS Dr Saqer Al-Mulla said the authority’s support to host this major world event comes out of its vision to have Kuwait host major world events, as human resources and world-class facilities are available ensuring the success of any major sports event.

Mulla said PAS aims to build a generation of administrative and technical manpower that is able to organize major sports gatherings, and lauded the efforts of Kuwait Swimming Federations in preparing for the event. He said PAS cooperates with all federations and clubs to support the development of Kuwait sport to be able to achieve good results and have Kuwait in a prominent place on the world map.

First Vice-President of FINA Hussein Al-Musallam said the gain from countries hosting championships is in creating a youth generation that is able to organize and manage in the sports field.

He said FINA provided a large number of referees and technicians to run the matches as there will be eight to ten matches a day. He also commended Kuwaiti volunteers who worked hard to get things ready for this major events.

Meanwhile, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marcolescu said the federation is satisfied with technical and organizational preparations of the championship and expected competition to be strong in the presence of the best world teams.

Zain’s Chief of Public Relations and Communications Waleed Al-Khashti said Zain’s sponsorship comes out of its belief in the vital role of the private sector in development youth and sports sectors out of social responsibility. He said the company will facilitate the 5G technology for the workers at the championship. Host country Kuwait plays in the same group with the United States, Italy, Iran and Montenegro.

By Abdellatif Sharaa