Katinka Hosszu Adds Her Voice To Calls For World Championships To Be Switched To 2022

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Katinka Hosszu: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Triple Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu has given her backing to the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, being moved back a year to 2022.

The competition was due to be held from 16 July to 1 August 2021 but the rescheduling of the Olympic Games to 23 July-8 August because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has thrown that into doubt.

Reports in Australia had claimed that FINA were initially considering holding worlds immediately after the Games in Tokyo and the world governing body were adamant they would not be shunted back to 2022.

However, the Canadian and German swimming federations called on FINA to push the meet back a year to 2022 as it would be in the best interests of the swimmers.

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Katinka Hosszu – Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Now Hosszu has swung her weight behind the move, telling Swimming World:

“I would prefer 2022. It just seems like such a big event and having it switched to another year would just make more sense to me.

“But obviously we will see what other swimmers and what FINA wants to do with the world champs.”

The Hungarian has a long and illustrious history at the World Championships and last year became the first woman to win the same event five times when she claimed 400IM gold in Gwangju, South Korea.

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Among the schedules suggested for Fukuoka are May/June 2022 or fall 2021 and although Hosszu would prefer the former, it is hard to see a perfect solution given the cluttered calendar for 2022.

It 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 to be held in an unidentified host city in Canada with the date to be confirmed.

Hosszu said:

“It is tough to say. It is such a weird time: nothing is great obviously. If you think about it: having it before the Olympics is not really great, having it right after the Olympics is not really great. Having it in 2022 it’s hitting Europeans so there is always some kind of issue.”

As of today, the European Championships will still be held in Hosszu’s hometown of Budapest from 17-30 August although it is hard to imagine that such a gathering and movement of people would be in any way encouraged.

Hosszu pondered the possibility but returned to the fact we are in the realm of the unknown where planning is impossible.

“Let’s say if we could have Europeans this summer in August – if we could have a big Europeans – I don’t know, maybe if things are going to go back to normal soon then it could happen. Obviously we don’t know yet.”

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Katinka Hosszu: Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

She added:

“Having world champs in 2022 we could have both Europeans and World Championships the same way we would have had Europeans and Olympics this year.

“I guess everyone will have to figure out the best way but I feel that if the Olympics and worlds are the same year I don’t know how well the swimmers could prepare for two big events in one year.”

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