Kazan, Guadalajara to Host World Swim Titles


Kazan, Russia has been awarded the right to host the world swimming championships in 2015 and Guadalajara, Mexico in 2017.

World swimming body FINA made the announcement Friday just before the start of the 14th world titles in Shanghai. Barcelona, Spain, will host the same event in 2013.

Hong Kong was the only other city bidding to host either 2015 or 2017.

China had originally entered Guangzhou in the 2015 and 2017 contests, while Montreal was also in the 2017 running before dropping out.

When the 2015 announcement was made by FINA president Julio Maglione, the large delegation from Kazan, a city on the Volga River east of Moscow founded in 1401, jumped into the air and shot off streamers, later popping open champagne.

Among those in the Kazan delegation was four-time Olympic champion Alexander Popov, a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Popov revealed that his 13-year-old son Vladimir is training under his former coach Gennadi Touretski with Ian Thorpe in Switzerland.

Thorpe, the five-time Olympic champion from Australia, has come out of retirement and is planning to compete at next year's London Olympics.

"I speak to Gennadi very often," Popov said. "He's saying very good things about Ian and his performances, about his training program."

For the record, the 39-year-old Popov is not planning a comeback.

"You will not see me performing, that's for sure," he said.

The hype surrounding these championships centers on an expected duel between Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte for the mantle of best swimmer.

"Michael is always Michael," Popov said. "As long as he's swimming he'll always be the best and everyone else will be a level below."

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