By Duncan Mackay

Aspire Centre_Aquatics_ComplexApril 4 - Doha have secured another major event after FINA today awarded the Qatari capital the 2014 World Short Course Swimming Championships. 

The event, which is due to take place in December 2014, is held every two years and is another boost to Doha's 2020 Olympics and Paralympics bid. 

The Championships joins a portfolio of major events that already includes the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 World Handball Championships.

The decision to award the event to Doha was taken by the ruling FINFA Bureau following a meeting in Lausanne. 

"We are very pleased to have the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships in 2014 in the outstanding Aspire Sport Complex, and its Aquatic Centre, in Doha," said Julio C. Maglione, the President of FINA. 

"I am sure that all swimmers, coaches, officials, and representatives of the participating National Federations will enjoy a great competition and be impressed by the Qatari hospitality."

The Championships, which are held in a 25 metre sized pool rather than the 50m one used in the Olympics, were first held in 1993 in Palma da Mallorca.

The 2014 event had originally been awarded to Catania but the Italian Swimming Federation withdrew its support last November because of the economic crisis the country is facing at the moment. 

It will not be the first time the Championships have been held in the Gulf region.

The last edition in 2010 were held in Dubai where American Ryan Lochte (pictured) became the first individual ever to win seven medals at a World Short Course Championships, six gold and a silver.

Ryan Lochte_in_Dubai_2010
More than 600 swimmers from nearly 120 countries are expected to compete in Doha. 

"It is a great honour for Doha to be awarded these Championships by FINA," said Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, secretary general of Qatar Olympic Committee.

"Swimming is an important and popular sport in Qatar and we will give a special welcome to the athletes, fans and officials in 2014.

"Working with FINA and hosting the championships is a further sign of our commitment to the development of sports in Qatar and across the Middle East.

"We are investing in sport at every level and we promise to deliver a great event."

While being awarded the event is an undoubted boost to Doha's bid not too much can be made of.

Istanbul, one of its 2020 rivals, is due to hold this year's event between December 12 and 16, giving them the ideal opportunity to showcase their bid before the International Olympic Comittee vote at its Session in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013.

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