German Swim Federation Joins Canada In Urging FINA To Hold 2021 World Championships in 2022

Florian Wellbrock in Gwangju last year in the midst of a campaign that delivered World titles in the marathon and the 1500m freestyle - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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The German Swim Federation (DSV) has joined Swimming Canada in urging FINA, the international federation, to shunt the 2021 World Swimming Championships into 2022 to take account of the move of dates for the Olympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The global swimming showcase was scheduled for Fukuoka, Japan, from July 16 to August 1, 2021 but the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will now be staged from July 23-August 8.

After Swimming Canada led the way in calling for FINA to shift its big events to 2022, Germany became the first European nation to follow through and reflect the growing view among stakeholders, that a pragmatic approach to the issues of a cluttered competition calendar would be in the best interests of athletes and the economies that support them.

Thomas Kurschilgen, performance director at the DSV, revealed the organisation’s stance when he told reporter Christoph Becker at the Frankfurter Allgemeine (F.A.Z.):

“We consider staging two absolute highlights on a global scale in one year as a challenge that [the sport] would struggle to cope with. Beyond the additional stress of peak performance for the athletes, the economic stresses that would be placed on national associations would further strain the federal budget and that needs to be taken into account.

“It is also important to ask whether a World Championships n the Olympic year would have the resonance it normally enjoys.”

FINA has indicated that it has two options on the table: September-October 2021 and or a move to May 2022 and Cherry Blossom season in Fukuoka. The international federation had indicated to federations that it might favour moving the Fukuoka event just the other side of the Games next year.

Like Canada, Germany was among nations that called for the International Olympic Committee to move the Olympic Games to 2021.

As Swimming World has noted elsewhere, for a distance freestyle swimmer  such as double World champion Florian Wellbrock, of Germany, holding the World Championships soon after the Olympic Games 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

Moving to September-October would, as Germany notes, involve travelling with full teams in all disciplines to and. from Japan twice in the first year after what is expected to be an economic recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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