FINA To Stage “Extraordinary” World Championships In Budapest In June; Four Global Meets In Four Years

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Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia

FINA will stage an “extraordinary” World Championships in Budapest in June to make it four world titles in as many years through to 2025.

It follows the postponement of the Fukuoka worlds which were scheduled for May 2022 but which have now been pushed back to July 2023 because of the ongoing pandemic with the Doha edition switched to January 2024 to start Olympic year.

With Monday’s announcement, it means there will be a major global long-course meet in June 2022, July 2023, January 2024 and July 2025.

The showcase meet at the Duna Arena in the Hungarian capital will run from 18 June-3 July and means the USA and the likes of Brazil – who otherwise were looking at a blank calendar until June 2023 – have a major international meet to target.

However, it raises questions for some with the Budapest meet ending on 3 July and the Commonwealth Games – featuring Australia, Canada, South Africa and the British who compete as the home nations – starting on 29 July in Birmingham.

The European Championships will then be held in Rome from 11 August.

It severely impacts the British team. Can Adam Peaty claim – or attempt – a clean sweep of the 100br with three major meets in seven/eight weeks?

Can the likes of Florian Wellbrock and Gregorio Paltrinieri attempt pool and open water at two major meets in that timeframe?

The International Swimming League has also announced season 4 will kick off in North America on 3 June and run through to 22 December.

In a press release, FINA said:

“The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and FINA President Husain Al-Musallam today announced an agreement for Hungary’s capital city to hold a FINA World Championships from 18 June – 3 July 2022.

“The agreement ensures athletes have a global aquatics championship to target in the summer of 2022. The agreement was reached after approval from the FINA Bureau today.

“FINA and key stakeholders of the Fukuoka 2022 Organising Committee jointly agreed last week to move the FINA World Championships from 13-29 May 2022 to 14-30 July 2023 due to the current health impacts of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and the pandemic measures currently in place in Japan.”

Al-Musallam said:

“As an aquatics community, we are finding solutions around the pandemic and today’s announcement is an important step in this process.

“We know we need to be imaginative in our approach in navigating through the current health crisis for our athletes. Today’s agreement is a testament to this work.

“FINA also recognises that the pandemic is evolving differently according to time and place. We are extremely fortunate to have event hosts that share our passion for aquatics and have the willingness, capability and flexibility to organise FINA’s most prestigious event. We are deeply grateful to all our hosts and know that aquatics athletes feel the same way.

“With four FINA World Championships and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games over the next four years, we are maximising the racing opportunities and earnings potential for established and emerging aquatics athletes alike.'”