2021 LEN EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Monday, May 10th – Sunday, May 23rd
- Budapest, Hungary
- Artistic – Diving – Open Water – Swimming
- Event Site
After being postponed a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 European Aquatics Championships will kick off on May 10th, running until May 23rd. Held at the Duma Arena, a venue built specifically for the 2017 World Championships, the 2021 edition of the European Aquatics Championships will mark the 5th time that the meet has been held in Budapest. The open water races will take place in Lake Lupa.
51 out of 52 LEN member nations will participate in the championship as countries seek high level and safe competition outlets in the lead-up to Tokyo.
The artistic swimming and diving competitions will begin on May 10th, while open water swimming will begin on May 12th, and competition in the pool will start on May 17th.
While the meet will be taking place, due to Covid-10 protocols, it will look significantly different than in past years. Most notably, the meet will take place behind closed doors, with all required meet personnel and athletes being kept in a bubble similar to that of the ISL. All necessary personnel and athletes will be required to undergo regular Covid-19 testing throughout their time in Budapest.
LEN President Paolo Barelli said of the precautions and the event itself:
“Today this is the only way to organize such a large-scale event but I am sure, that despite all measures and strict protocols, our fantastic athletes will come up with outstanding performances,” Paolo Barelli said. “Let me thank them for their commitment as they had to train amidst extraordinary circumstances. Similarly, LEN is extremely grateful for all coaches, officials, and for each National Federation that even during these challenging times they did their utmost to keep up the desired level in their everyday activities. This dedication makes Europe the leading continent in aquatics. If we look at the entries, we see that everyone is eager to compete. 24-25 nations are entered to for diving, artistic swimming, and open water respectively, and despite the still existing lockdown measures throughout the continent, a record of 51 nations are to take part in the swimming competitions. LEN is really proud that we could welcome all our athletes, the leading aquatic stars, and offer them a racing opportunity of the highest standards at the European Aquatics Championships.”
Some swimming officials, such as the president of the Hungarian Swimming Association Sandor Wladar, are viewing the meet as an opportunity to prepare for the rigorous protocols that will be in place later this summer at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. According to Wladar, athletes will face daily testing and an even stricter environment in Tokyo, meaning the opportunity to practice competing at a high level, under those circumstances, is ideal for the continent’s athletes.
The European Championships will also serve as an Olympic qualification meet for many of the competing countries. Among others, Great Britain still has 12 roster spots available on their Olympic team that will be decided at the European Aquatics Championships.