ROME AND OSTIA READY TO HOST THE EUROPEAN MASTERS AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS FROM 24 AUGUST: ALL THE NUMBERS
The 3km open water swimming race will officially open the 18th European Masters Aquatics Championships in Rome on Wednesday 24 August at 9:30. The event reserved for the over-25 athletes, scheduled until 4 September, is hosted by Italy for the first time in history. The numbers are record-breaking: 5120 athletes have registered, both male and female, from 38 nations, in the 302 events on the competition programme with a total of 8927 scheduled races. There will be five aquatic disciplines represented in the European championships: swimming, open water swimming, artistic swimming, diving and water polo, which will be held at five competition venues: three are located in Rome (Stadio del Nuoto, Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli, Unipol Blustadium Pietralata), the other two are in Ostia (Lido di Ostia, Polo Acquatico Frecciarossa).
OPEN WATER SWIMMING
The event will be held in front of the SPQR beach at Lido di Ostia from 24 to 26 August: a 3 kmcourse for everyone. There will be 585 athletes at the start in 13 categories from 25-29 to 85-89 (average age 50 years). The oldest is 89-year-old Swiss Josef Krejci, followed by 86-year-old German Hans Reichelt.
All events will take place at the Swimming Stadium from 26 to 31 August. At the start there will be 151 athletes in 12 categories up to 80+ (average age 50). The oldest registered athlete is 84-year-old Joan Aldousfrom Great Britain. Among the former Azzurri there are Massimiliano Mazzucchi, currently technical commentator for Rai Sport (Italian State TV), Francesco Priori and Riccardo Giacometti. The athletes will dive from the one- and three-metre springboards and from the five-, seven- and 10-metre platforms (the over-60s are excluded from the 10m event); the programme features synchronised and mixed synchronised events.
It will take place between the Swimming Stadium and the Unipol Blustadium Centre in Pietralata from 28 August to 4 September. There will be 3232 athletes competing, for a total of 7400 competition participants and 412 relays; 13 in total are the categories from 25-29 to 90 (average age 48 years old). The oldest athletes are Czech Dagmar Ferebauerova and German Gottfried Klaering, both 92 years old.
Among the former Azzurri participating are 79-year-old Giuseppe Avellone, sixth with the 4x100m medley relay at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games; and 85-year-old Giuseppe Perondini, Bud Spencer's former teammate, who took part both in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1960 Rome Olympics.
The tournament will kick off on Monday 29 August and end on 4 September, taking place at the Polo Acquatico Frecciarossa in Ostia. There are 55 teams who have entered the competition: 50 men's and 5 women's teams will compete on three pools, two set up in the outdoor 50-metre pool of the Italian Swimming Federation sporting centre and one in the indoor 33-metre pool. Among the 16 most numerous nations (Ukraine withdrew at the last minute), Hungary stand out with 11 teams (10 among the men + one among the women), Germany (9+1) and Italy with 7 (6+1). Eight categories are represented (from 30 to 70+).
All performances will take place in the temporary pool set up at the Nicola Pietrangeli Stadium in Rome. There are almost 400 athletes participating who are divided into 12 categories. Only one athlete has entered the men's solo event: Italy's Giorgio Canale , who will also be competing in the mixed event together with his sister Giorgia. The oldest is the 78-year-old British woman Jeanne Louse Ansley who will be taking part in the tech and free events.