18 December 2021

Young Aspring Swimmers Train with Olympic Champion Florian Wellbrock at Etihad Arena

Aspiring young swimmers were in for a treat on Friday as Germany’s Olympic Champion Florian Wellbrock jumped in to join the fun in a unique training clinic inside Etihad Arena, as the FINA World Swimming Championships 2021 continue in Abu Dhabi.

Wellbrock is only the second athlete in history to medal in both swimming and marathon swimming events at the Olympic Games. The German, who comes off his storming event win in the open water 10km event on Thursday and is preparing for his pool competitions over the weekend, met with young athletes from the Soul Sport local swimming club to take part in training sessions to develop their skills in the purpose-built warm up pool inside the iconic Etihad Arena.

Following the session, Florian said, “This is where everything started so this is going to be the future and it’s important to show them how we do it. The kids here today are as young as 6 - I started my swimming journey around the same time and some have asked me about being an Olympic champion, so it’s a crazy feeling.”

“It has been a great experience so far here in Abu Dhabi and I like the challenge of competing in open water and the short course event. The race in Tokyo when I won was an amazing feeling and the one in Abu Dhabi was similar but not so easy. I had an amazing last lap yesterday and that was the key to winning the race.”

At the end of the session, the young swimmers were able to try one of the most difficult movements in the pool – the tumble flip – with Florian watching on for support. Jadon, 9, said “It was really great. I never did a turning move before, so it was a good feeling to have done one especially with an Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock being there.”

The exciting swimming clinic was held in partnership with National Health Insurance Company - Daman and the UAE Swimming Federation. In the lead up to the championships, numerous workshops were held across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, free for the whole community to join, which in total saw over 4,000 people take part.

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