FINA World Championships – Fukuoka, Japan
FINA have today announced that the World Championships, originally scheduled for the summer of 2021 in Fukuoka, Japan, will now instead take place from May 13th-29th, 2022.
The change comes amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which continues to majorly disrupt the international sporting calendar. FINA has made the decision after speaking with the involved parties; TV sponsors, the city of Fukuoka, the Japanese Swimming Federation, organising committees, athletes and coaches.
This is an about-face from earlier comments by FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu, who when asked in March about the possibility of a 2022 World Championships said “no, no, no, no, no, no,” in response.
While it was certainly not unanimous, the loudest chorus of athlete voices were in favor of a 2022 World Championships. The FINA Athletes’ Committee sent out a survey to athletes to gather their input as part of the decision-making process.
This also clears room in the calendar for the European Championships to be moved to 2021: a decision that was given by the head of the host Hungarian federation last week but disputed by LEN.
The relative dates, in May instead of the originally-planned July-August dates, will allow other competitions that wish to continue in 2022 to do so with less conflict: events like the Commonwealth Games, European Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships.
FINA has not indicated any plan to change the dates of the 2020 Short Course World Championships, with Swimming Canada announcing that they’re still targeting that date in September for their national team. FINA has also still not published a plan for the 2021 World Junior Championships, which never had announced dates or a host.
The World Aquatics Championships include the disciplines of swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving, high diving, and artistic swimming (synchronized swimming).
The press release also announced that the FINA World Masters Championships will now be taking place across the Japanese island of Kyushu from May 31st-June 9th 2022. Fukuoka is the largest city on the island with a population of 1.6 million. The island also includes major metropolises of Kitayushu (940,000) and Kumamoto (740,000)
The postponement of the Olympic Games to next year has caused a lot of events to be pushed back as they would otherwise clash with the Games. Other recent event changes include the 2020 European Aquatics Championships, the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games, and the cancellation of all 2020 European Junior Aquatics Championships.
Press Release in Full:
Following consultation with the city of Fukuoka, Japan Swimming Federation, organisers, athletes, coaches, technical committees, TV partners and sponsors, FINA is pleased to announce that the FINA World Championships in Fukuoka (JPN), initially scheduled for the summer of 2021, will now take place from May 13-29, 2022.
“After liaising with the relevant stakeholders and receiving feedback from them, we have no doubt that the decision taken will provide the best possible conditions for all participants at the Championships. We look forward to witnessing the world’s best aquatic athletes from around the world competing in the city of Fukuoka (JPN) in 2022,” said FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione. “At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, FINA hopes the announcement of these dates will allow for some clarity in planning for all concerned.”
The FINA Family would like to thank the authorities of the City of Fukuoka, the Japan Swimming Federation, Organising Committee of the FINA World Championships, and all our partners for their commitment and support in reaching this decision.
Moreover, the FINA World Masters Championships will take place across the island of Kyushu (JPN), from May 31-June 9, 2022.