For the second time in just over a week, the schedule has changed for the 2015 European Championships. This time, however, it has nothing to do with the ongoing security situation.
LEN informed the Israeli Swimming Association over the weekend that it would delay the championships until December 2nd-6th, 2015, rather than the originally scheduled date of January 15th-18th.
The January date was a deviation from the normal pattern, which typically sees this meet held at the end of the year. There became increasing concern about how much participation the federations would get for a January short course championship, given that it’s just a month after the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Qatar.
The meet is also moving to Herzliya, which is about 25 miles further south than the originally scheduled host of Netanya. It’s also closer to the capital of Tel Aviv.
As is true in most cases of short course championships, the European Short Course meet is not at the level of the long course championship (which is held in even-numbered years). After a fantastic job by organizers of the event in 2013 in Herning, Denmark, however, the short course version is increasing in prominence. A December date makes it a more natural completion of the FINA World Cup season: another event that is growing in prominence.
On July 25th, FINA announced that it was moving the Junior Open Water World Championships out of Israel over safety concerns presented by its member federations.
Herzliya has a population of just over 110,000. Average temperatures for the area in December ranges from a low of 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9C) to a high of 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18C). By comparison, Herning hovers right around freezing during December on average, making Israel a much more temperate choice as compared to the last host.