Nine’s Wide World of Sports will make a big splash at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Melbourne when Ian Thorpe, Ariarne Titmus and Giaan Rooney form an all-star commentary lineup.
Taking place from December 13-18 exclusive, live and free on Channel 9 and 9Now in prime time, the trio of world champions will be poolside to provide expert insight when Australia’s best short-course swimmers take on the world in their own backyard.
Making the announcement on Sports Sunday this morning, Australia’s greatest ever swimmer, Ian Thorpe, spoke of his enthusiasm at joining Nine’s Wide World of Sports stable.
“Channel 9 has an absolutely outstanding history in broadcasting swimming, and considering their audience probably watched me winning World Championships, or breaking world records, it’s going to be great to share my knowledge now with viewers,” said Thorpe.
“I’m particularly excited to be working alongside Giaan, who I grew up with, and it’s also fantastic to see Ariarne, another Olympic champion, come on board to give her understanding of the sport.
“I love discussing the intricacies of swimming and sharing those insights, which hopefully educates more people about our sport.”
Nine Director of Sport, Brent Williams, said: “Nine has a rich history of broadcasting swimming and we are proud to be partnering with FINA on their upcoming events.
“We are equally excited to have Olympic gold medallists, world champions and Australian swimming superstars Ian Thorpe, Giaan Rooney and Ariarne Titmus forming our team of experts.
“Their insight and knowledge will be invaluable in bringing viewers closer to the action and enhancing our poolside coverage in Melbourne.”
Current Olympic champion for the 200m and 400m freestyle, Ariarne Titmus, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Nine’s Wide World of Sports for the short-course World Championships in Melbourne. I’m excited to experience racing from a new perspective and challenge myself in a new role on pool deck.
“Thorpey has always been a hero of mine and Giaan is one of the best swimming broadcasters anywhere in the world, so to be alongside them is something I’m really looking forward to, and it’s a fresh challenge for me.”
Rounding out the star trio and making a network homecoming in her distinguished media career, Giaan Rooney said: “After swimming my last race on Channel 9 and starting my broadcasting career as part of the legendary Wide World of Sports swimming commentary team, it feels very familiar and natural to be showcasing swimming for Nine once again.
“This time, not only do we have many of our current Olympic superstars such as Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown, Mollie O’Callaghan, Mack Horton and Kyle Chalmers going for gold in the pool, I’m also honoured to be on the mic with the Olympic legend, Ian Thorpe, and our current Olympic champion, Ariarne Titmus.”
Wide World of Sports commentator Mat Thompson will call the races live and experienced sports broadcaster Tony Jones will host the network’s coverage from his hometown throughout the six-day event.