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Melbourne Withdraws Bid for 2007 World Champs -- March 19, 2003

SYDNEY, March 19. AUSTRALIAN Swimming Inc. announced today that Melbourne’s bid for the 2007 World Swimming Championships has been withdrawn.

Australian Swimming President and bid chairman John Devitt said today that ASI, the Victorian Government and swimming’s world governing body FINA were equally disappointed at Australia’s decision to withdraw the Melbourne bid.

Mr. Devitt said that since the successful Australian bids of 1991 and 1998, when Perth conducted the Championships, the costs of staging a World Championship had escalated dramatically.

"I know that FINA, the world governing body, is disappointed because Australia has always been able to successfully stage its premier major events like the World Championships, Olympic Games and World Cup meets," Mr. Devitt said.

"We are all hopeful of working with FINA in the future to further prosper the sport of swimming in Australia.

"The economic climate doesn’t always allow you to commit to major world events when they become available."

Australian Swimming and the Victorian Government have committed to the FINA World Cup Meet in Melbourne from November 28-30, this year.

"The World Cup meets in Melbourne in 2001 and 2002 have been most successful and we are certain the FINA 2003 World Cup will be just as successful," Mr. Devitt said