FINA Move Closer To Shunting Fukuoka World Champs To 2022, Fall 2021 Still An Option

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The prospect of the 2021 World Championships being moved back a year to 2022 appears to be a step closer with world governing body FINA being forced to act following the rescheduling of Tokyo 2020.

The IOC announced on Monday the Olympic Games would take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021, a year later than planned after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced their postponement.

That has impacted on the World Championships, which are scheduled to take place in Fukuoka, Japan, from 16 July to 1 August 2021.

Fukuoka

Photo Courtesy: @Fukuoka2021jp

Reports in Australia claimed FINA were looking at rescheduling them to run from mid-August, immediately following the Games, although that would entail huge difficulties for the swimmers who had already peaked and for whom the Olympics is the pinnacle.

For instance, for double World champion Florian Wellbrock, of Germany, it would mean:

  • Week 1: 800, 1500m free debut at the Olympic Games
  • Week 2: Olympic marathon debut
  • Week 3/4: World 10km (marathon) title defence
  • Week 4/5: 800m and defence of World 1500m title

Swim Canada have called for the Fukuoka worlds to be moved to 2022 with head of performance John Atkinson saying:

“Having the two premier Games and championships staged close together in the same year would create many challenges. From budgets to program planning, to timing, to the risks of athletes being overloaded, there are so many unknowns. As we continue to navigate the uncertainty of this current global situation, we encourage FINA and World Para Swimming to choose 2022 as the best alternative for the world championships.”

That now appears to be a distinct possibility with FINA apparently considering two options.

One is a move to the end of September/beginning of October 2021 and the second is to reschedule for May/June 2022.

Both bring their own issues given the athletes will have already competed at their premier competition of the year and some will have retired thereby diluting the field with regard to the former proposal.

It also begs the question of what will happen to the International Swimming League with its planned expansion seeing the series scheduled for September time although FINA will have little concern about this.

March/April is when many countries across the world hold their trials season.

The sporting calendar in 2022 is already fit to bursting with the Commonwealth Games (27 July-7 August), European Championships (11-21 August), Asian Games (10-25 September) and Pan-Pacific Championships which are to be held in a host city yet to be identified in Canada with the date to be confirmed.

Cornel MARCULESCU, Fina Executive Director, is pictured during the 12th Fina World Short Course Swimming Championships held at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)

Cornel Marculescu, FINA – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told the Associated Press on Tuesday:

“I need to see the information from Fukuoka, from the partners, from television, from everybody. And then we can have a conclusion.”

Marculescu had been adamant that worlds would not move to 2022 before Tokyo was rescheduled, telling AP: “No, no, no, no, no, no.”

However, he now knows that seems like a possibility and when asked about his previous comments, Marculescu said:

“For that reason I don’t want to have any opinion, because it doesn’t reflect the reality.”

The Romanian said FINA will need another two weeks before making a decision

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4 comments

  1. Bridget Lin

    Joshua Teo so many decisions to make 😬

    • Kirsten Titheridge

      Better postponed than cancelled? I wonder if they will do the same for Pan Pacs?

    • Robyn Crotty

      Kirsten Titheridge think the pan PACs will be cancelled for the next time in 2022..????

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