Michael Phelps of the United States and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu were both winners at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Soirée des Etoiles World Aquatics Gala in Windsor, Canada.
In a spectacular ceremony at the Caesar’s Hotel, swimming’s governing body paid its annual tribute to the best athletes in the sport.
The group included the best male and female competitor in each of the aquatic disciplines, with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio largely determining the winners of the awards,
In swimming, Phelps and Hosszu claimed the honors after their outstanding results in Brazil.
Phelps won six medals, including five gold, while Hosszu won three gold medals in the 100 meter backstroke, 200m individual medley, setting a new Olympic record in the process, and 400m individual medley, in which she broke the world record.
She also won a silver in the 200m backstroke and dominated this year’s FINA World Cup claiming a total of 1,197 points while her closest rival, Jamaican Alia Atkinson, finished on 480 in second.
The best Olympic swimming performances went to Great Britain’s Adam Peaty for his world record-breaking 100m breaststroke final win and American Katie Ledecky, who won four gold medals in Brazil.
In water polo, the Olympic and World League champions, respectively Serbia among men and USA in the women’s field, were winners.
In diving, China’s Chen Aisen, who won two gold medals in Rio, and Shi Tingmao, the Olympic champion in the 3m individual and synchronized springboard competitions, claimed the honors.
Dutch Olympic gold medalists Ferry Weertman and Sharon Rouwendaal won the men’s and women’s awards in the Open Water Swimming category respectively, while synchronized swimmers Svetlana Romashina and Natalia Ishchenko of Russia, who won the duet and team events in Rio, took their discipline’s prize.
Finally, World Cup winners Gary Hunt of Great Britain and Canadian Lysanne Richard were considered the best high divers of the year.
At the end of the Gala, Michael Phelps received “Aquatic Legend, the Greatest of All Time” special award from FINA.
The 31-year-old, who retired following the 2016 Games, won 28 medals at Olympic level which is an unprecedented feat among all sports.
FINA also announced that a long-term partnership has been established with Alisports for the organisation of the “Soirée des Etoiles” gala, from 2016 through to 2025.
It will now be known as the FINA/Alisports World Aquatics Gala Soirée des Etoiles.
In addition to this partnership, Alisports became the exclusive e-commerce, ticketing, and sports tourism partner for the Chinese territory.
In regards to the promotion of Aquatics, Alisports will have the opportunity to be associated with open water and high diving events.
Furthermore, Alisports will focus on youth training and coaching staff training, establishing training courses and venues, in order to raise the participation in Aquatics.
By Max Winters
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.