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Hungary's Hosszu founds organization representing swimmers
Last Updated: 2017-07-04 00:00 | Xinhua
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Hungary's three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu founded an international organization representing swimmers, with more than 30 members, including 15 Olympic champions, she announced Tuesday on her official Facebook page.

The move came two weeks after Hosszu published a long statement calling on swimmers all around the world to unite and take a stand against the International swimming federation (FINA), who introduced new regulations without consulting with the competitors, according to Hosszu.

She said: "We are proud to announce that with more than 30 members, including 15 Olympic champions, the Global Association of Professional Swimmers (GAPS) is coming to life today, with its members already representing all the continents of the globe."

"Our goal is to have more members and to listen to all of you. GAPS will make it possible for us to jointly represent the interest of the professional swimmers, to have a clear view on what is happening today in the sport of swimming, and to have a chance to influence the future development of our sport," she said.

The conflict between the swimmers and FINA broke out at the end of May, as FINA modified the regulations of the 2017 edition of the FINA Swimming World Cup. The new measures were then harshly criticized by the best performing swimmer of last years, the Hungarian Katinka Hosszu.

One of the most important modification was that a swimmer would be able to compete in only four individual races, whereas Hosszu, who won all of the previous World Cups since 2012, was used to compete in as many as 10 races per event. Apparently, she was not alone with discontent.

The conflict between the swimmers and FINA broke out at the end of May, as FINA modified the regulations of the 2017 edition of the FINA Swimming World Cup. The new measures were then harshly criticized by the best performing swimmer of last years, the Hungarian Katinka Hosszu.

One of the most important modification was that a swimmer would be able to compete in only four individual races, whereas Hosszu, who won all of the previous World Cups since 2012, was used to compete in as many as 10 races per event. Apparently, she was not alone with discontent.

GAPS has also expectations from FINA. "We now rightfully expect that leaders of FINA will give us a seat at the table. We expect swimmers to be treated as equal partners. We expect that they will sit down and start talking to us. We expect that they will listen to the voice of the professional swimmers and we expect to have a say in important decisions about the future of our sport," Hosszu said.

The current members of the group are: Jessica Ashwood (Australia), Bronte Campbell (Australia), Cate Campbell (Australia), Madison Wilson (Australia), Pieter Timmers (Belgium), Bruno Fratus (Brazil), Hilary Caldwell (Canada), Pernille Blume (Denmark), Jeanette Ottesen (Denmark), Rikke Pedersen (Denmark), Camile Lacourt (France), Anna Santamans (France), Marco Koch (Germany), James Guy (Great Britain), Adam Peaty (Great Britain), Katinka Hosszu (Hungary), Luca Dotto (Italy), Kosuke Hagino (Japan), Femke Heemskerk (Netherlands), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands), Kira Toussaint (Netherlands), Sharon Van Rouwendaal (Netherlands), Ferry Weertman (Netherlands), Michelle Coleman (Sweden), Jennie Johansson (Sweden), Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), Cameron Van Der Burgh (South Africa), Conor Dwyer (USA), Katie Meili (USA), Lia Neal (USA).

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