The list of potential hosts for the 2021 and 2023 FINA World Championships has just gotten one candidate shorter. Argentina has announced it will be withdrawing its bid, leaving four countries still in the running as possible locations for aquatics’ biggest non-Olympic event:
UAE hopes to join the race, but has not officially put forth its bid at this time. The deadline for submissions is October 20th.
FINA Executive Director, Cornel Marculescu told Reuters simply, “Argentina is not bidding now.” Marculescu continued, “There is still a lot of interest. We have some excellent candidates and swimming is in a very strong position. We just had a very successful championships in Kazan, I think the best ever, and at the London Olympics, we were the number one sport worldwide for television and internet and also loved by youth more than any other sport.”
Budapest, Hungary was originally awarded the 2021 edition of the championships but, due to the city of Guadalajara, Mexico backing out of their 2017 hosting duties, stepped up and took on the event. As such, Budapest’s 2021 hosting spot became open again. Gwangju, South Korea, the site of this year’s World University Games, has already been awarded the 2019 FINA World Championships.
As for the other candidates still in the running, each has had some experience with hosting sizable aquatic events at some point in the past. Shanghai, China and Fukuoka, Japan have both hosted the Long Course World Championships in the years 2011 and 2001, respectively.
Doha has been a consistent stop within the FINA World Cup tour, with the city’s Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence complex serving as the physical site of the competition. In fact, Qatar’s hosting of the 2014 World Short Course Championships made it three-straight versions of the meet’s being held in that geographical region, after Dubai hosted the 2010 edition and Istanbul, Turkey held the meet in 2012. Additionally, Qatar hosted the Festival of Aquatics late last year, which included the 3rd FINA World Aquatics Convention, FINA Extraordinary Congress, and the 2nd FINA Gold Swimming Coaches Clinic among other events.
FINA will be voting for both the host of the 2021 championships and the 2023 championships at a meeting in Dubai on November 8, 2015.