Report: FINA World Championships in Fukuoka Postponed to 2023; FINA Says ‘No Change of Event to Confirm’

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Report: FINA World Championships in Fukuoka Postponed to 2023; FINA Says ‘No Change of Event to Confirm’

The next edition of the FINA World Championships might be delayed again. Originally scheduled for July 2021 in Fukuoka, Japan, and then delayed to May 2022 following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, FINA has reportedly pushed back the meet one more year to July 2023. According to a report from, the decision was made due to continued impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically the more contagious omicron variant that has spread throughout the world.

As a result of that delay, the following edition of the World Championships set for Doha, Qatar, would be being pushed to January 2024. That meet would become the first-ever World Championships to take place in an Olympic year, and this schedule would set up a 13-month stretch consisting of the World Championships in July, another World Championships in January and then the Paris Olympics in late July/early August.

According to, the World Junior Championships remain on the calendar for August 2022 in Kazan, Russia, while Kazan will also host the Short Course World Championships in December 2022.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for FINA said that there were “currently” no changes to report regarding the organization’s calendar but did not deny that there could be changes in the future.

“Regarding the 19th FINA World Championships, there is currently no change of event to confirm. Should any confirmed changes happen to the 2022 competition calendar, FINA will promptly and clearly publish an appropriate news announcement at that time,” FINA said in an email to Swimming World.

The Fukuoka Worlds had been set for May rather than the usual late-summer slot because of a series of regional meets already scheduled for 2022, including the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and Asian Games. Several top Australian swimmers had indicated they were considering skipping the World Championships to focus on the Commonwealth Games, which would have taken much of the prestige away from what is usually the biggest meet on swimming’s calendar.

If there is no long course World Championships in 2022, most of the world’s top swimmers would still have a major meet to focus on with the three aforementioned championships, but swimmers from the United States and Latin America are not eligible for any of those three meets. The Pan Pacific Championships (which would have been held somewhere in Canada) had previously been cancelled because the Fukuoka World Championships were rescheduled for 2022.

Swimming World reached out to USA Swimming to determine what impacts the postponement of Worlds would have on the international calendar for top American swimmers. USA Swimming plans to comment if and when FINA makes an announcement of changes to the calendar.

Update: Swimming Canada provided a statement from High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson acknowledging “changes pending to the international competition calendar that have yet to be confirmed.” Atkinson confirmed in the statement that the organization still plans to hold its annual selection trials in early April to select teams for the Commonwealth Games and other events.

The statement reads: “We are fully aware there are changes pending to the international competition calendar that have yet to be confirmed. Just yesterday we held an update call with carded athletes and provincial partners, during which we stated that if things change due to ongoing developments in the global COVID-19 pandemic, we would adapt. We have been adapting for two years and will continue to do so. Swimming Canada continues its 2022 plan for Canadian Swimming Trials April 5-10 in Victoria, selecting teams for Commonwealth Games, World Para Swimming Championships and other events. When a new date is confirmed for FINA World Championships, we will adjust our plans for 2023 and beyond accordingly. More information will follow as we adapt and confirm any changes.”

Update 1/24: Russian Swimming Federation President and Olympic gold medalist Vladimir Salnikov told TASS, Russia’s state news agency, that the World Championships had indeed been postponed to 2023.

“The FINA bureau met Friday and voted to postpone the World Championships to 2023 due to the pandemic and other issues related to organizing the arrival and accommodation of participants in the coronavirus environment. No alternative options for the World Championships were presented,” Salnikov said, according to TASS.

Read the original report from (in Portuguese) here.

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