Hundreds participate at the Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival by Daman’s ActiveLife
The Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival 2017, presented by Daman’s ActiveLife, saw more than 700 swimmers, their friends and families descend to the Emirates Palace beach to participate in the most popular community swimming event in the Capital, which had a triumphant return to the stunning Emirates Palace bay for the fourth year today.
Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Sjöström joined swimmers at this year’s event, as international ambassador, alongside veteran Emirati swimmers Al Jasmi Brothers – all of whom participated in the different races.
Sjöström, who won Olympic gold in the 100m butterfly setting a new world record of 55.48 seconds in Rio last year, said after finishing the Abu Dhabi Splash Dash race: “It was fantastic joining swimmers at Emirates Palace beach this morning. I am more used to swimming shorter distances in a pool, so swimming 800 meters in open waters is a new experience for me. It was terrifying at first, but exciting and fun as I got into it! The weather is great today and these calm waters are great for everyone wanting to give swimming a try.”
Al Jasmi Brothers; Obaid, Saeed and Sultan, who return to the festival for a fourth year as long-standing supporters and ambassadors, took part in a series of races throughout the day. Sultan Al Jasmi competing in the 800-metre race commenting on this year’s event, said “It is always a wonderful experience returning to the Emirates Palace beach for this event and seeing the positive vibes all around. My brothers and I are here today because we hope to inspire a younger generation of swimmers, to work hard and be committed to this wonderful sport, for as long as they can.”
Nicholas Roselt won the Abu Dhabi Splash Dash in the male category, while Marion Hanquet came first in the female category, while the winners of the Junior Slash Dash races were Adam Samir, Jake Hutchinson and Laith Abulaila, who won the 100m, 300m and 500m races respectively. The female winners of the Junior Slash Dash races were Saki Kurita who came first in the 100m race, Amalie Henriksen in the 300m race and Isabella Potts in the 500m race.
Anne Schuurmans and Hannah Dean were named the official winners of the event’s longest race, the Abu Dhabi Mile, in the male and female categories respectively. UAE swimmers showed strong performance at this year’s events and took part in all races. Top participants were Ali Subait, who came third in the Abu Dhabi Mile race and Khalifa Al Falasi, who took a leading position in the Abu Dhabi Splash Dash race. Family Fun Challenge overall winning team was the De Jager Family. The family race saw parents swim with their children in a relay format, where parents swam 300m and children 100m. The 4-person relay race winning team was 4th Lane Swim Academy, who were the fastest to swim 300m each.
Michael Bitzer, CEO of Daman commented on the festival, saying: “We’ve just witnessed another impressive Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival and the competition between the swimmers was simply superb to watch. Bringing together the community in such a way to compete and exercise is testament to Daman’s vision of a healthier Abu Dhabi, and we hope this will encourage more residents of the capital to get active, whether it’s to compete in the next swimming festival itself, or simply to adopt a healthier lifestyle through a sport they enjoy.”
Commenting about Emirates Palace’s involvement in the 2017 Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival, General Manager Holger Schroth said: “The Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival by Daman’s ActiveLife is now an important event in the Emirates Palace annual calendar. On this day, we are happy to open our exclusive 1.3km beach to families and residents who love to swim. We are also pleased to partner with organisations, such as Daman, who share our commitment to support a healthy and active lifestyle for the Abu Dhabi community at large.”