FINA has been searching for a replacement host for the 2013 World Junior Championships, after Casablanca backed out earlier this year, and they’ve once again gone back to their great fallback plan, Dubai, according to the official event website.
For some reason, FINA seems deadset on holding as many of its major events as is possible in the UAE, and they awarded this championship to the country despite pulling out of hosting that same year’s senior World Championship meet.
Those eligible for this meet include girls born from 1996-1999 (14-17), and boys born from 1995-1998 (15-18). Dates for the event have yet to be confirmed, but most of the world’s countries send very elite squads to this event. Among the alumni include Australian Cameron McEvoy, New Zealand’s Daniel Bell, Great Britain’s Craig Benson, the Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, and Americans Dagny Knutson, Lia Neal, and Chelsea Chenault. That’s as compared to the Youth Olympics, which in its inaugural year in 2010 struggled to gain much traction within the swimming community.
This meet, which is of a much smaller scale than the senior World Aquatics Championships, makes more sense for the UAE’s “grass roots” goals for growing their swimming program: one of the cited reasons for pulling out of hosting originally.