x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Young swimmers from around globe arrive in Dubai for world junior championships

About 753 of the world's best young swimmers from 91 countries will compete in the event, which begins tomorrow.

ABU DHABI // More than 1,000 swimmers, officials and supporting families have arrived in Dubai ahead of the 4th FINA World Junior Championships.

About 753 of the world's best young swimmers from 91 countries will compete in the event, which begins tomorrow.

The 28-strong Australian team jetted in from a pre-event training camp in Doha on Thursday.

Michael Scott, the Australian team's manager, said his swimmers had great potential and would gain valuable race experience from this meet, which will run until Saturday.

"A number of these swimmers have already shown what they are capable of at a national and international level, with over half of this team representing Australia at the Trans Tasman, Junior Pan Pacs or Australian Youth Olympic Festival in the last two years," he said.

"This meet will be an important stepping stone for the swimmers looking to gain selection on to senior teams in the near future, and the racing experience gained will benefit them as they move forward into the next stages of the journey towards Rio and beyond."

The youngest member of the team is 14-year-old Shayna Jack, who came fifth behind four London Olympians in the 50-metre freestyle final at the Australian Championships in May. She will be chasing gold in three events - the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle.

Another rising star is distance swimmer Mack Horton, 17, who is looking to regain the 1,500m crown - an event dominated by Australian swimmers for years.

He recorded a sub-15 minute swim in May, knocking five seconds off his personal best. He will compete in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m freestyle events.

"We are delighted to be welcoming so many people from around the world to Dubai for this event, and are looking forward to seeing some fantastic performances in the pool this week," said Hessa Al Harmoudi, a member of the organising committee.

anwar@thenational.ae