The FINA Athletes Committee has begun a survey of global participants of the 6 major aquatic disciplines to gather opinions on what to do about the 2021 FINA World Aquatics Championships.
The biannual event was scheduled from July 16th to August 1st, 2021, which now conflicts with the dates that the International Olympic Committee will use to host the 2020 Olympic Games: July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. The IOC was forced to move the Olympic Games as the result of the global coronavirus pandemic that has now surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 60,000 deaths.
FINA has acknowledged that they will move the World Championships, but has not revealed yet their proposals to do so. The meet has been awarded to Fukuoka, Japan, which opens up interesting possibilities for back-to-back competitions, given the proximity to the Olympic Games.
The only hint so far is that FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu responded with an emphatic ‘no’ when the proposal of moving the World Championships to 2022 was brought up. In spite of that, heads of at least 2 federations, from Germany and Canada, have publicly expressed their belief that 2022 is the best solution.
The survey says that the results will be collated and given to the FINA Office as a recommendation from the athletes. FINA will then use this as one piece of its decision, along with input from other stakeholders including National Federations, the organizing committee, local government, and broadcasters.
The 6 aquatic disciplines impacted are swimming, open water swimming, artistic (synchronized) swimming, diving, high diving, and water polo.
The survey proposes 4 possible makeup dates for the event:
- March or April 2021 prior to the summer Olympic Games
- Immediately after the Olympic Games
- After the Olympic Games in September/October
- In 2022
There is no option involving moving the championships to late 2020, perhaps in the slot of the more lightly-attended World Short Course Championships.
Editor’s note: we have not published the link to the survey so as to protect it from being spammed by non-athletes.
Questions Asked by the Survey:
- Name, Email Address, Country
- Last major competition competed in
- What is your preferred new date for the FINA World Championships in Fukuoka (JPN)?
A space is also left for comments.
FINA Athletes’ Committee
The FINA Athletes Committee is designated to represent the voice of athletes in FINA administration. The Chair of the Athletes Committee is a member of the FINA Bureau and recently earned a vote as a full bureau member.
Correction: previously, the chair of the Athletes’ Committee was a member of the FINA Bureau, but didn’t receive a vote. That has changed.
The current chair of the FINA Athletes Committee is Penny Heyns, who won a pair of gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke. She added a bronze in the 100 breast in 2000 before retiring in 2001.
There are several other well-known swimmers on the committee, including Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry, American Aaron Peirsol and Brazilian Thiago Pereira. Most of the members of the committee are retired, with exceptions being 27-year old Dutch open water swimmer Ferry Weertman, who is the defending Olympic champion in the 10km swim; British diver Jack Laugher, who won gold on 3 meter-synchro and silver on 3 meter individually at the 2016 Olympic Games; and Tingmao Shi, a Chinese diver who won the women’s 3 meter and 3-meter synchro events at the 2016 Olympics.
Other members of the Committee:
- Britta Makrau, Vice Chairman
- Patrick Murphy, Honorary Secretary
- Anna Bader, Member
- Kirsty Coventry, Member
- Virginie Dedieu, Member
- Orlando Duque, Member
- Aaron Feltham, Member
- Stavroula Kozompoli, Member
- Jack Laugher, Member
- Aaron Peirsol, Member
- Thiago Pereira, Member
- Ryan Pini, Member
- Camelia Potec, Member
- Tingmao Shi, Member
- Kaori Takemura, Member
- Ferry Weertman, Member
- Matthew Dunn, Bureau Liaison