The dates of the FINA 2021 World Short Course (25m) Swimming Championships have been changed.
Originally scheduled for December 13-18, 2021, the meet is now to be held from December 16-21, 2021.
The event will still be held in a temporary pool in the newly-built Edihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This is the first time that Abu Dhabi will host the event, though another UAE city, Dubai, previously hosted the 2010 World Short Course Championships.
The arena, which opened in January, has a capacity of 18,000 seats. Yas Island is most famously known recently as “Fight Island,” home to the restart of the UFC mixed martial arts competition in the city at the Etihad Arena.
The event was originally scheduled for December 2020 on its normal two-year cycle, but because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was pushed back a year, originally to begin December 13, but now to begin December 16.
FINA cited the “busy sporting calendar” that time of year in Abu Dhabi as the purpose for the delay, though the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix auto race is scheduled for December 12, 2021 on the Yas Marina Circuit nearby.
The FINA World Short Course Championships is generally the lesser-attended of FINA’s two major World Championship events, with the other being in long course. With the International Swimming League trying to move in on both the short course schedule and the ‘winter season’ of swimming, industry-enthusiasts will have a keen eye on participation in these World Championships for athletes from nations that don’t require it.
The events will return to their even-yeared cycle beginning in 2022, with Kazan, Russia scheduled to host in 2022 and Budapest, Hungary scheduled to host in 2024. Kazan’s hosting bid was in doubt, though with the CAS ruling that the WADA ban is to expire on December 16, 2022, it seems as though that event is destined to go on.