FINA Announces Hosts for 2019 and 2021 World Championships

Last time, it was Shanghai 2011. This year, it’s Barcelona 2013. Next up are Kazan 2015 and Guadalajara 2017.

We now know the next two destinations as FINA is reaching far out to establish some stability in its calendar:

Gwangju, South Korea and Budapest, Hungary will host the 2019 and 2021 FINA World Aquatics Championships, respectively.

They won the bidding over Baku, Azerbaijan and the UAE.

Gwangju is a city of 1.4 million in South Korea, and is the host of the 2015 World University Games. Similarly as to how FINA has done with Kazan, Russia, they will follow the WUG’s four years later with the hosting of their World Aquatics Championships. The city has become a sporting hotbed, having hosted parts of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in soccer as well.

The pool in Gwangju is designed for a permanent capacity of just under 4,000 seats, but for the World Aquatics Championships it will be expandable to 15,000 seats.

The new construction will include a race pool (10 lanes, 50m X 25m X 3m deep), a diving pool (33m X 25m X 5m deep), and a practice pool (8 lanes, 50m X 21m).

Budapest is upgrading from its frequent duty as hosting the European Championships over the last decade, and immediately after the Hungarian federation unveiled the plans for a brand new aquatics center. The Alfréd Hajós Swimming Complex is outdoors, which FINA has strayed away from since Rome. The new facility will lie directly across the Danube river from the existing pools, completing a massive complex that includes a pair of 50 meter training pools at an adjacent Komjadi complex as well.

Budapest is a beautiful and vibrant city in Eastern Europe of 1.7 million people, and though it lies off of the standard European tourist trail, it has become increasingly popular in the last few years. The swimming program continues to be one of the strongest per-capita in the world, and has a great history in aquatic sports.

This has been a good week for Hungary, as they were also awarded the 2016 World Junior Swimming Championships by FINA.

The full upcoming global majors schedule:

  • 2013 (50m) Worlds – Barcelona, Spain
  • 2013 (50m) World Juniors – Dubai, UAE
  • 2014 (25m) Worlds – Doha, Qatar
  • 2015 (50m) World University Games – Gwangju, South Korea
  • 2015 (50m) Worlds – Kazan, Russia
  • 2015 (50m) World Juniors – Singapore
  • 2016 (50m) Olympics – Rio de Janiero, Brazil
  • 2016 (25m) Worlds – Windsor, Canada
  • 2017 (50m) World University Games – Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2017 (50m) Worlds – Guadalajara, Meixco
  • 2017 (50m) World Juniors – Budapest, Hungary
  • 2018 (25m) Worlds – unannounced
  • 2019 (50m) World University Games – finalists Baku, Brasilia, Budapest, to be announced 11/9/2013
  • 2019 (50m) Worlds – Gwangju, South Korea
  • 2020 (50m) Olympics – finalists Istanbul, Tokyo, Barcelona, to be announced 9/7/2013
  • 2020 (25m) Worlds – unannounced
  • 2021 (50m) World University Games – unannounced
  • 2021 (50m) World Championships – Budapest, Hungary


Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve Johnson
7 years ago

Two points. First, many of the venues used for the world championships are going to work very poorly for the masters world championships. That meets needs three 50 meter pools and works best in very interesting destinations. Second, the US has also never hosted the world track and field championships for pretty much the same reasons – no one wants to spend the money to host it and provide the proper facility. My city, Eugene, lost the bid for the IAAF championships this year by one vote. To a city in a country with no runners and almost no women allowed to run. The politics of both of these organizations are not designed to benefit the athlete or the sport.

9 years ago

Any announcements from FINA on the venues for world masters in coming years? All we know is Montreal next year!

Old sprinter
Reply to  Marko
9 years ago

Masters world championships will be held at the same venue as LC world championships in the following year. So you now know the sites through 2021

Old sprinter
Reply to  Old sprinter
9 years ago

Correction. They will be held at the world championship site immediately following world championships. I.e., Kazan Russia in 2015, etc., etc.

9 years ago

South Korea has pulled itself up from the bootstraps to become a world superpower. If you look at what they’ve been able to do as a nation, it really is amazing. This was a third-world nation with no economic power as recently as the 60s that is now the world’s 11th largest economy.

Mark my words: Just as they’ve started to make their mark in other sports, South Korea will become a world superpower in swimming in the next decade. They are flush with money and national pride and believe in the development of sports.

9 years ago

I wonder why the 2017 World Championships would be held in Guadalajara when the city sits at over 5,100 feet above sea level.

Record breaking will be difficult in any event 200 meters or more.

9 years ago

If it’s not a huge permanent structure with 10K seats, like an Olympic Pool, then the model is to hold these at indoor stadiums. Barcelona next week, Marine Messe in Japan, Trials in Omaha, etc. We even hosted 25m Worlds in the basketball arena in Indianapolis.

Come on, Washington, DC! Verizon Center and the DC Convention Center are the perfect duo for that 25m meet. Or, frankly, and big-city arena, for 50m or 25m. I’m talking to YOU, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, LA (Staples Arena?), Chicago, Philly, etc. Indoor football stadiums like Alamo Bowl, Phoenix, Superdome, Houston, etc could easily have hosted any one of those long course meets.

Reply to  BaldingEagle
9 years ago

In DC/Baltimore’s previous bids, I felt they were hurt by their lack of cutting-edge 50m pools — and what it would have done with a permanent major natatorium if it built one. That’s basically moot now that temporary pools have proven themselves at Olympic Trials and Worlds.

That said, considering what the Olympics would do to the traffic around here (and the metro), I’m not sure I want them here.

9 years ago

Are we going to see world championships hosted in the US in our lifetime?

Can’t USA Swimming make a deal with one of the wealthiest cities in the US?

Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

Agreeed ! Totally weird that Usa is not chosen to host at least one World championships before 2023 !!! How come is it possible ?

9 years ago

Umm… a US city can be chosen if they participate in the bidding.
I think Long Beach once did, but failed.

C Martin
9 years ago

I believe it’s because of the lack of interest of swimming in the USA that it’s not worth spending all that money for something not many people (relatively speaking, compared to the big four sports) would go to see. Not my train of thought at all, but I know for a fact that swimming does not have as many fans, backers and participants as other sports and so therefore gets left out of the funding and hosting duties.

Reply to  C Martin
9 years ago

USA has even hosted World Figure Skating Championships 12 (TWELVE) times!!!

And the thirteen time with Boston in 2016.

Not even with Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin and Franklin than any US city is willing to host world aquatic championships.!!

I don’t blame it on any US city, I blame it on USA swimming, they should work harder to approach the cities.

Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

That’s a valid point from ASwimFan. I don’t believe there is a considerable difference in the financial risk of arranging FINA Worlds in comparison with the World Championships in figure skating.

The amount of enterprise in the realm of figure skating seems to be on the next level.

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Still no LCM world championships in France until perhaps 2023! 😥
And still no LCM world championships in USA, the swimming superpower! 😯

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »