2020 FINA SC World Championships Set To Be Outdoors In Abu Dhabi

Although it was previously announced last July that Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates would be hosting the 2020 FINA Short Course World Championships, it wasn’t known until now that the meet is now scheduled to take place outdoors.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council Secretary General, Aref al Awani has confirmed to Sport360 that, as the city doesn’t have a world-class aquatic facility such as the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, it wouldn’t be “economically smart to construct an entire facility just for one competition.” As such, the nation will be setting up a temporary space for it in the out-of-doors.

Said al Awani, “Considering we already have a big set-up for swimming in Dubai (the Hamdan Sports Complex), the idea we presented to the world governing body of swimming, FINA, was to introduce something new in the sport here in the UAE, something different. So it’s going to be outdoors.” Further, al Awani clarified that, “The nature of the events we host always depends on utilising existing facilities here in Abu Dhabi and that’s what we’ll be doing.”

Abu Dhabi has already played host as a stop on the FINA Open Water World Cup, and in 2015 it showed huge amounts of prize money as opposed to other stops on the schedule. That fact added further salt to the wound of those reminded of American Fran Crippen’s death in 2010, as the swimmer tragically died in an open water race in Abu Dhabi. As such, there was much criticism surrounding the even just the selection of Abu Dhabi for a world cup stop this year.  

According to WeatherSpark, Abu Dhabi’s cold season lasts from December 4th to March 4th with an average daily high temperature below 81°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 57°F and high of 74°F.

FINA’s Swimming Pool Rules and Regulations state the following regarding water temperature:

FR 2.12 Water Temperature shall be 25° – 28° (77°F – 82.4° F). During competition the water in the pool must be kept at a constant level, with no appreciable movement. In order to observe health regulations in force in most countries, inflow and outflow is permissible as long as no appreciable current or turbulence is created.

FINA’s Open Water Swimming Rules and Regulations state the following: 

OWS 5.5 The water temperature should be a minimum of 16°C and a maximum of 31°C (60.8°F – 87.8°F). It should be checked the day of the race, 2 hours before the start, in the middle of the course at a depth of 40 cm. This control should be done in the presence of a Commission made up of the following persons present: a Referee, a member of the Organising Committee and one coach from the teams present designated during the Technical Meeting. OWS 5.5.1 The Safety Officer shall monitor temperature conditions periodically during the race.


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7 years ago

And yet the country with lots of money is not willing to build a new swimming facility just for 1 short-course WC

7 years ago

“Just follow the money”…..FINA’s new marketing campaign!

Joel Lin
7 years ago

FINA changing the world one very bad decision at a time.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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