FINA to Recognize ISL Times as Qualifiers for Short-Course World Championships

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

FINA to Recognize ISL Times as Qualifiers for Short-Course World Championships

FINA on Tuesday announced that it is willing to “approve and consider” International Swimming League matches as qualification for the Short-Course World Championships.

The decision is noteworthy given FINA’s ambivalence toward the ISL, which the ISL’s disruptor mentality has more then reciprocated. Given the number of swimmers that have had to choose between the ISL and FINA World Cup this short-course season, the opening of qualification eases the coexistence between the two entities.

In a press release, FINA acknowledged the action as being “in response to queries,” presumably by swimmers and coaches. The decision by the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, and supported by the FINA Bureau, was done “to show good will and support for these athletes.” The decision is painted as an athlete empowerment move, keeping with the more athlete-centric policies put in place by the regime of Husain Al-Musallam, which included increased meet purses and addressing historical wrongs.

Meets include the regular-season matches that took place in Naples, Italy, as well as the playoff matches in Eindhoven, Netherlands. FINA’s release puts the onus on the Italian and Dutch swimming federations to, in the future, seek prior approval and sanctioning more than six months ahead of time, with a slightly scolding tone.

The full press release is available here. The 2021 Short-Course World Championships will take place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on Dec. 16-21.