FINA President Husain Al-Musallam gives a speech at the World Aquatics Gala in Abu Dhabi ©FINA

American star swimmer Caeleb Dressel and Chinese diving sensations Xie Siyi and Shi Tingmao were among the winners at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Aquatics Gala here in Abu Dhabi.

Multiple Olympic champions in swimming, open water swimming, artistic swimming, diving and water polo were honoured at the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Hotel following their exploits at Tokyo 2020, while high divers were also recognised.

Dressel and Australian Emma McKeon claimed the respective best male and female swimmer awards in recognition of their success at the Games.

McKeon bagged a hat-trick of titles in the Japanese capital, while Dressel racked up a stunning haul of five gold medals at the Games.

The best male and female diver awards were handed to Xie and Shi respectively after they both landed two golds in Tokyo.

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock and Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha were both crowned Olympic champions this year and were named the best open water swimmers in 2021 by FINA.

Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina shared the honours as they received the best female artistic swimmer awards after they teamed up to win the duet event for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) at Tokyo 2020.

The best male artistic swimmer prize went to Aleksandr Maltsev of Russia, while high divers Owen Weymouth of Britain and Ellie Smart of the United States were also given individual awards for their success in their sport at the ceremony.

Filip Filipović received top honours in water polo after playing a key role in Serbia’s defence of their Olympic crown in Tokyo in water polo.

Maggie Steffens received the female equivalent prize after winning her third successive Olympic water polo gold as part of the victorious American team.

The best coach awards went to Gregg Troy and Michael Bohl in swimming, Bernd Berkhahn and Fernando Possenti in open water swimming, Gana Maksimova and Tatiana Danchenko in artistic swimming, Dejan Savic and Adam Krikorian in water polo and Nie Yudi and Zhao Wenjin in diving following the success of their charges at the ceremony.

"Tonight, is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the incredible records and achievements of aquatics athletes from all over the world,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam.

"Athletes are the beating heart of our community. 

"Without you, there is no sports history.

"Without you, we cannot introduce innovative new competitions as we have done here in Abu Dhabi during the FINA Aquatics Festival with the debut of the open water mixed relay.

"Thank you all for the sacrifice you have given during this challenging year."

The ceremony was held during the World Swimming Championships (25m) and FINA Aquatics Festival, scheduled to run until December 21.