SWIMMING copyIsrael will stage a large-scale swimming event for the first time next year after they were selected to host the European Short Course Swimming Championships.

Netanya will welcome around 600 swimmers from across Europe for the four-day tournament, which takes place between January 15 and 18, and will be broadcast live in 35 different countires.

Delighted with being appointed as hosts, Noam Zwi, President of the Israeli Swimming Association said: “For us this is like hosting the Olympics. Netanya and Israel will receive unprecedented exposure and Israeli swimming will prove that it deserves it. Israeli swimming is currently peaking and we will try and record extraordinary accomplishments in front of the home crowd.”

The championships will take place at the brand new swimming complex of the Wingate Institute, which includes an Olympic-size pool, and can hold 3,000 fans.

Paolo Barelli, the President of the European Swimming League, praised the organisers for their bid, saying: “The Israeli Swimming Federation has proved their capability to organize major international events before, by hosting several open water swimming events in Eilat. Now, they’re entering the elite club of organisers who stage the biggest swimming showcases, too.

“For a continental organisation, it’s highly important to have more and more major events in new cities, new countries, as this further boosts the development and promotion of swimming.

“Israel has showed tremendous development in the past couple of years. Their athletes started to win medals at the European events, so I’m sure that the local fans will fill the stands of the fantastic new complex in Netanya.”