James Guy on 2024 World Champs: ‘I Ain’t Going’; Pushback on FINA Dates For Doha Grows Stronger


James Guy on 2024 World Champs: ‘I Ain’t Going’; Pushback on FINA Dates For Doha Grows Stronger

Another British star has voiced his displeasure with the FINA announcement that the 2024 World Championships, scheduled for Doha, will be held in February. On Tuesday, the governing body for the sport announced the World Champs, covering all aquatic disciplines, would run from February 2-18, less than six months before the start of the Olympic Games in Paris.

Following the disapproval expressed by countrymen Adam Peaty and Duncan Scott, British cornerstone James Guy took to social media to seemingly indicate he would not take part in the World Champs. Guy, a multi-time international medalist and key component of Britain’s high-profile 400 medley and 800 freestyle relays, simply Tweeted, “I ain’t going,” in response to FINA’s announcement.

Doha was originally scheduled to serve as host of the 2023 World Championships, but when Fukuoka was moved back to that date, FINA announced a World Champs would be held in 2024 in Doha. With athletes not wanting to risk their preparation for the Olympic Games, the possibility exists that many of the top names in the sport – such as Guy – will bypass the event.

While the United States and Australia plan to hold their Olympic Trials in June of 2024, numerous nations hold their Olympic Trials in the spring, less than 10 weeks from the scheduled dates of the World Championships. Athletes from those countries, including Great Britain, will not jeopardize their chances for an additional version of Worlds.

Complicating matters further is word that FINA will use the 2024 World Championships as a selection meet for relay qualification to the Paris Games. Sources have indicated that only the top-three countries in relay action from the 2023 World Championships will receive automatic entry to the next Olympics. The remaining bids will be on the line in Doha, and if nations are not at full strength due to athletes skipping the meet, qualification will be heavily affected. As an example, if Peaty, Scott or Guy – or all – pass on Doha, Great Britain would have to rely on “B-level” lineups to nail down relay bids to Paris.

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