FINA has drawn their line in the sand, and placed their buoy in the water, and declared that the maximum temperature for FINA open water events shall be 31 degrees celsius (87.8 degrees farenheit). That temperature proposal will be presented to the Technical Open Water Swimming Congress on Wednesday.
The decision was announced today by FINA President Julio Maglione on Tuesday at the FINA Bureau meeting, as it follows a study at the University of Otago in New Zealand. The university collaborated with FINA, the IOC, and the International Triathlon Union to establish this figure, which is higher than the one that USA Swimming had already legislated for races 5km and longer at 29.5 degrees Celsius (85 farenheit).
Our open water expert Mike Lewis says that in his opinion, this maximum is still too high – a sentiment shared by a vast majority of the open water swimmers with whom he’s spoken.
See the video here where Lewis discusses with U.S. Open Water Olympian Alex Meyer that 31 degrees is too hot.
The mandated pool temperature for FINA meets is between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius.
The renewed on safety in open water races comes after American champion swimmer Fran Crippen died in a FINA race in Dubai in 2010, with the high temperature of the water being deemed one of the contributing factors.