2021 FINA World Aquatic C’ships To Revise Dates Due To Olympic Overlap

With the announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the new Tokyo Olympic Games dates for next year, the big question to be asked from a swimming perspective is what will happen to the 2021 FINA World Aquatic Championships?

The revised Olympic Games’ dates are now set for July 23rd – August 8th, as we reported today. However, the 2021 World Championships dates are slated for July 16th – August 1st, overlapping with the Olympic Games.

When asked last week about the possibility of the 2021 World Championships being moved whenever the new Olympic dates would be determined, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu stated, “If they do it in summer, then we (will have to change) the dates (of the world championships).”

Now that the Olympic Games dates have indeed been IOC-approved for the summer of 2021, FINA says it will consult with organizers of the 2021 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka to examine a revision to the proposed dates for the Championships.

‘FINA will also consult with stakeholders including athletes, coaches, national federations, TV partners and sponsors in order to determine the most appropriate solution.’

“Faced with the unprecedented need to reschedule the Olympic Games, our friends at the IOC and Tokyo 2020 have reacted with great speed and professionalism. To already know the dates is very helpful to federations and athletes everywhere. FINA would like to express its best wishes to all those who have committed themselves to making the aquatics competitions of Tokyo 2020 the great success that I know they will be,” said FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione.

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This’ll be a busy week for swimswam!

Coach Mike 1952



I’ve been thinking about what the schedule of these meets could look like. I think FINA should view this as an opportunity to try something new. With the Olympic Games in August, they could start a long course World Cup series (or just a cluster of a series) in mid-late August, and follow up with a world championships later in the year (late September perhaps). Yes, this would be a strange time for a championship meet, but I’d say this would be better than having it too close to the olympics. If it’s too close, you could end up with athletes forced to shave and taper three time in less than two months. In the scenario I mentioned above, the… Read more »


Loved the idea, you’re hired!


I somewhat share your thoughts but the Olympics is a big deal. A lot of athletes will want to take their big break afterwards and having them go straight to some other meet is a bit of a stretch considering these athletes will have been waiting 5 years for their big moment. Swimming is typically the last thing on their mind after the biggest event of their lives. I do think, however, it would work for some athletes, notably MA, Le Clos etc.


Why is this hard?

Olympics Summer 2021
Worlds Summer 2022 (OK, so the Pan-Atlantic JV Games and the Afroeurasia Festival get dwarfed or whatever)
Worlds Summer 2023 (OMG ONLY 1 YEAR APART… really not a big deal).
Olympics Summer 2024
Then resume the pre-Corona schedule.


I’d vote to keep that schedule forever. Gymnastics and weightlifting already follow the 3 worlds/1 olympic schedule. Everything thing else can be B-team events, or pushed into the fall and the ISL becomes a winter-spring sport like a professional NCAA time frame. A spring ISL final would only have March Madness to fight, as baseball/football aren’t on and the NBA would be months from the playoffs


An annual Olympics or Worlds for swimming would be magnificent. Those awkward gap years (2014, 2018) are always painful.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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