While no official announcement has been made by FINA, the All-Russia Swimming Federation hinted in a news release on Wednesday that the 2020 World Junior Championships in open water swimming are expected to be postponed from 2020 until 2021. The move is driven by the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.
The event was originally scheduled for August 23rd-25th, 2020 in Victoria, Seychelles, but the Russian Federation says that the recommendation is that it be postponed until August 22nd-24th, 2021.
FINA has announced the postponement and/or cancellation of a number of other events scheduled for 2020, with the postponements have a target of September or October 2020 for resumption of activity.
The 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed by a year from July 23rd-August 8th, 2021. While that meet will conclude only 2 weeks before the Open Water World Junior Championships, open water swimming has much less of a junior-senior athlete overlap than do other disciplines. For example, at the 2016 Summer Olympics, of the 50 participants, only 1, Australia’s Chelsea Gubecka, was age-eligible for the FINA Open Water World Junior Championships that were held in July of that year.
The FINA Open Water Junior World Championships are held every 2 years, with the initial edition coming in 2014. The event is for swimmers aged 14 to 19 based on date on December 31st, although FINA has not yet announced how they might shift the birth years for a 2021 championship. The meet includes a 5k for boys and girls aged 14-15, a 7.5k for boys and girls aged 16-17, and a 10k for boys and girls aged 18-19. That’s in addition to 14-16 and U19 4 x 1.25km relay events.
The biggest remaining FINA shoe to drop is the movement of the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which includes disciplines of swimming, open water swimming, artistic swimming, water polo, diving, and high diving. The original dates for that meet now overlap with the Olympic Games, meaning that FINA has to move their meet.