News & Media

Walking On Water A First At World Swim Championships

Thousands of fans will literally be walking on water at a dramatically transformed Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) during the12th FINA World Championships, Minister for Sport and Recreation, James Merlino announced today.
Mr Merlino said that for the first time in the history of MSAC, fans will be in a stand built on the water facing the diving platform, giving them an unprecedented view of the world’s best divers in action.
“This is a first for MSAC and is rarely seen at other diving events around the world, showing just how innovative these World Championships will be to ensure they are the best in history for competitors and spectators alike,” he said.
“The 1800-seat grandstand and the winner’s dais will sit on the pool, giving fans the best viewing experience possible and providing an all-new cauldron-like atmosphere for the diving competition.
“Diving fans will literally be held in suspense throughout the tournament and MSAC has yet again demonstrated its world-class credentials by taking world-class events to a new level.”
Mr Merlino also announced a brand new 2000 seat temporary stand for the water polo arena would be a boon to the championships and to Victoria long after the competition finished.
“This temporary stand will increase the crowd capacity at the water polo events from 3000 to 5000 and can be packed up and moved off for use at other community events and major events such as the Spring Carnival and the FORMULA 1™ Australian Grand Prix.”
The grandstand – to go to the State Sport Centres Trust after the Championships – comprises eight sections of 250 seats and its flexibility will allow it to be transported and set up on site in a matter of hours.
“Victorian designed and made, the complete stand comprises about 50,000 components, is 54 metres long, 20 metres deep and approximately six metres high,’ Mr Merlino said.
Australian Gold Medallist in the 1984 Olympics 200metre butterfly event Jon Sieben – now manager of the championships water polo event for M2007 – said the new stand was a real bonus for water polo fans.
“It’s great and with the finishing touches being added to the venue, this is going to be remembered as a special place for the world’s best divers and water polo players,” he said.
The 12th FINA World Championships will be held from Saturday 17 March until Sunday 1 April, featuring more than 2000 athletes from up to 175 countries.
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