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Big boost for UAE water polo

posted on 15/10/2012: 2515 views

Executive director of the UAE Swimming Association Ayman Saad says the recently concluded International Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming Championships at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex has paved the way for introducing water polo to sports enthusiasts in the UAE.

The competition, which wrapped up on Saturday and featured teams from China, Kuwait, Greece and Egypt, was created as a test event for the upcoming 9th Asian Swimming Championships set to take place in Dubai next month.

Saad, however, revealed that bigger plans are in place for water polo to spread across the UAE and that it was important to showcase the sport to help attract athletes and fans in the country.

"We had organised synchronised swimming or water polo events in the UAE before, so it was a great test event for the Asian Championships next month. But it's also a starting point that will help pave the way for water polo events especially,” Saad told Sport360°.

"This sport is new for us, and soon we will create training centres for water polo in several emirates. We are signing a good coach who will help with the system and structure, and we are also getting an excellent guest speaker from Serbia who will speak to the coaches during the Asian Championships.

"The plan is to have a decent water polo UAE national team within three years.”

Saad also hailed the organisation team, which he led, over the past few weeks to make the competition happen.

"From an organisational point of view, we did a fantastic job, and of course the venue helps a lot. Such a grand complex really makes my job very comfortable.

"I believe the water polo pool we have is even better than the one at the London venue where they played the Olympics. "We will promote the Asian Championships well. It's important to advertise it.

"People now have developed the swimming culture, but still we need to push for synchro and water polo,” he added. The final medal tally in the synchronised swimming competition in Dubai was China: 4 gold, 1 silver; Greece: 3 gold, 4 silver; and Egypt: 2 silver, 5 bronze, while Greek club Olympiakos won the water polo competition with a 13 -2 win over a determined but outclassed Partizan Raiffeisen in the final. – Sport 360°


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