Fukuoka, Doha to Host 2021 and 2023 World Championships

Fukuoka, Japan has been named the hosts of the 2021 FINA World Aquatics Championships and Doha, Qatar will organize the 2023 meet, the organization announced on Sunday from Budapest.

FINA, the global governing body for 6 aquatic disciplines (pool swimming, open water swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, high diving, and water polo) holds its multi-sport global long course championship in odd numbered years.

The two winning cities were chosen from just 3 bidders after bids from Argentina, the UAE, Australia, and Germany pulled out.

Upcoming World Championships hosts:

  • 2016 (short course) – Windsor, Canada
  • 2017 (long course) – Budapest, Hungary
  • 2018 (short course) – Hanzhou, China
  • 2019 (long course) – Gwangju, South Korea
  • 2020 (short course) – Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2021 (long course) – Fukoka, Japan
  • 2022 (short course) – TBD
  • 2023 (long course) – Doha, Qatar

After Budapest hosts in 2017, swimmers will become quite accustomed to swimming on the Asian continent, as they’ll host World Championships in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023, as well as the 2020 Olympics in 2020.

Fukuoka most recently hosted the 2001 World Aquatics Championships in long course, and this will make them the third city after Perth and Barcelona to host the premier championships twice. Perth hosted in 1991 and 1998, while Barcelona hosted in 2001 and then was scrambled to host in 2013 after Dubai withdrew.

Doha, meanwhile, organized the last edition of the World Short Course Championships, which included a record 1300 participating athletes from a record 174 participating countries. Doha has also hosted stops in the last 5 World Cup Series. Doha also bid for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games, albeit unsuccessfully, and are currently controversially scheduled to host the 2022 soccer World Cup.

Host City Details

Fukuoka, Japan
  • Population: 1.4 million city/5.5 million metro
  • City founded: 1972
  • Hosted 2021 World Aquatics Championships
  • Home to its own stock exchange, one of 6 in Japan
  • Major economic center of Kyushu region in the southern part of Japan
  • Also hosted 1995 World University Games, 1997 Pan Pac Swiming Championships, 2006 World Cross Coutnry Championships
  • 2001 championships swimming was held at Marine Messe with a temporary pool in the 10,000 seat Marine Messe arena. Cost was $4 million for two weeks. Fukuoka Prefectural Pool hosted diving, open water swimming was held at Momochi Beach, and water polo was held at Hakata-no-Mori Center Court and Nishi Civic Pool Complex
Doha, Qatar
  • Population: 956,460 city
  • City founded: 1825
  • Hosted 2014 World Swimming Championships (25m)
  • City is the economic center of Qatar, based on oil and gas industries
  • 10th most expensive city to live in in the world (according to Numbeo)
  • Home to 7 soccer teams and have been named hosts of 2022 FIFA World Cup (soccer) – amid allegations of massive corruption and human rights issues, among other things.
  • First country in the Middle East to hold a women’s tennis tournament (2001), hosted 2006 Asian Games (at a cost of $2.8 billion),
  • Unsuccessfully bid for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Aspire Academy, launched in 2004, includes Hamad Aquatic Centre that is the annual Swimming World Cup host.

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Joel Lin

FINA’s defiance is just incredible. Considering the corruption issues surrounding the FIFA World Cup going to Qatar one would think they’d show some restraint before awarding an event like this. This sport needs a new overlord.

ct swim fan

Why are the World Swimming Championships never in the United States?

bobo gigi

412th time that question is asked. 😆
Every time I am answered that there are no facilities in USA to host these championships and that it’s too expensive to build them.
Easy answer in my opinion.
Where there is a will, there is always a way.


It actually was hosted by the United States a couple years ago. It was at Stanford college in San Francisco. I know this because my mother went.


Perth was the first city to host Worlds twice -91 & 99 .

Mike Anderson

*1991 & 1998

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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, …

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