FINA Cancels/ Postpones Swathe Of Aquatic Events Due To Coronavirus Pandemic, Some Decisions Pending

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FINA the international federation for aquatics sports, has issued cancellation and/or postponement notices for a swathe of events in swimming, water polo, diving and synchronised swimming due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decisions, on recommendation of the newly established FINA Task Force, which will next meet on March 16, include the postponement of the Water Polo Olympic qualification tournaments for men and women, the postponement of the Kazan round of the World Diving Series until September or October, and  cancellation of the Synchro World Series events due to have taken place in Alexandroupolis (GRE) and Suzhou (CHN) next month. The rest of the synchro series next month, in Hungary and Russia, has been postponed.

The news comes in a 24-hour period of intense turmoil in the swimming and aquatics world, with Olympic trials in China, Italy and Denmark now officially postponed or cancelled:

FINA Statement in Full:

First meeting of FINA COVID-19 taskforce

Following the declaration of World Health Organisation that the current COVID-19 outbreak has now reached a worldwide pandemic status, the recently-created FINA Taskforce held its first meeting (by videoconference) to consider the impacts of the current situation with regard to the health of our athletes by assessing the risks of hosting forthcoming FINA competitions. A number of significant decisions were made to postpone or cancel events. FINA’s overriding concern at this challenging time is to proactively safeguard the health of all event participants, and also to safeguard public health in general.

In addition to the outbreak itself, government restrictions and guidance on events and travel as well as recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the International Olympic Committee have been considered carefully by FINA’s COVID-2019 Taskforce. FINA has also been in discussion with the host federations and committees involved, to which FINA remains deeply grateful for their efforts to further Aquatics.

Consequently, FINA would like to inform that the following event changes have been agreed:

Olympic Games Qualifying Events

  • March 8-15 – Trieste (ITA) – OG2020 Women ‘s WP Qualification Tournament

    The competition has been already postponed to May 17-24
    Taskforce will review the situation on April 20
  • March 22-29 – Rotterdam (NED) – OG2020 Men ‘s WP Qualification Tournament

    The competition is postponed to May 31-June 7
    Taskforce will review the situation on April 30
  • April 21-26 – Tokyo (JPN) – Diving World Cup
  • IOC and Tokyo2020 will make a decision in collaboration with the Taskforce as necessary


  • April 30-May 3 – Tokyo (JPN) – Artistic Swimming OG Qualifying Event
  • IOC and Tokyo2020 will make a decision in collaboration with the Taskforce as necessary



Olympic Test Events in April


  • Swimming and Water Polo
  • IOC and Tokyo2020 will make a decision in collaboration with the Taskforce as necessary

Diving World Series

 

March 20-22 – Kazan (RUS)


  • The competition is postponed to September/October 2020



March 27-29 – London (GBR) 


  • At this stage, OC still wants to hold the competition. The FINA Taskforce will wait for further information from the British authorities, and will review the status of this event on March 16, 2020.

Water Polo

 

World League Men and Women 


  • The competition is postponed to September/October 2020



Artistic Swimming World Series



March 27-29 – Hurghada (EGY)

This competition is postponed to a further date not yet determined



  • April 3-5 – Alexandroupolis (GRE)
    This competition is cancelled
  • 

April 10-12 – Budapest (HUN)
    This competition is postponed to a further date not yet determined
  • April 17-19 – Kazan (RUS)
    This competition is postponed to a further date not yet determined
  • April 23-25 – Suzhou (CHN)
    This competition is cancelled

Schools, Coaches Clinics, Development programme
:  all schools and clinics to be held until the end of March 2020 are postponed. FINA schools and clinics to be held in April and May will be reviewed by the Taskforce, which meets regularly.

At present, the Olympic Qualifying System for Tokyo 2020 remains unchanged. Should any changes become necessary, they will be determined in collaboration with the respective FINA Technical Committees and agreed with the IOC. Should changes be required, these will be communicated at the earliest available opportunity.

According to discussions with the World Health Organisation, the risks of swimming in chlorinated water is considered to be of low risk for COVID-19 viral transmission. Please exercise good health hygiene (i.e. hand washing and avoid large gatherings).

The FINA COVID-19 Taskforce will meet again on March 16 to further reassess the situation concerning the impact of the virus on the FINA calendar of events.

FINA would like to reiterate its thanks to all those supporting aquatics athletes around the world. FINA would also like to express its thoughts and sympathies for all those affected by the pandemic.

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