Swim Poll of the Week: With the Olympic Games Being Pushed Back to 2021, How Should FINA Handle the Pre-Scheduled 2021 Worlds?

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This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday April 9, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: With the Olympic Games Being Pushed Back to 2021, how should FINA handle the 2021 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan?

The Olympic Games have officially been pushed back to 2021 because the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible to hold an Olympics and respective qualifying competitions safely. Therefore, the IOC made the difficult decision to push the Games back a whole year. Although that is the safest option for the Games, it causes difficulties with other sporting federations as they search for a new outcome regarding the pre-scheduled 2021 World Championships.

FINA, the governing body for the sport of swimming, has not officially announced what will happen to next year’s world championships which were supposed to be held in Fukuoka, Japan. A cancellation of the event is highly unlikely because of how much money FINA would lose in the process, but there has been talk that the event would be held a few months after the Olympics in late 2021.

Swimming Canada has called for the Championships to be moved until 2022 to ensure the best overall results from the athletes.

The federation, which has already cancelled the whole of the summer season 2020 through August, welcomed the new 2021 dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games as “great news” that would help swimmers, coaches and programs plan properly.

Canada having won praise for its stance on Tokyo 2020, the swim federation now explains why it it in favor of FINA and World Para Swimming moving all their respective 2021 world championships to 2022 “for a variety of reasons.”

In a statement, John Atkinson, head of performance at Swimming Canada, noted:

“Having the two premier Games and championships staged close together in the same year would create many challenges. From budgets to program planning, to timing, to the risks of athletes being overloaded, there are so many unknowns. As we continue to navigate the uncertainty of this current global situation, we encourage FINA and World Para Swimming to choose 2022 as the best alternative for the world championships.”

The German Swim Federation has also backed Swimming Canada’s decision in urging FINA to push the championships back to 2022.

Thomas Kurschilgen, performance director at the DSV, revealed the organization’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.”

What should FINA do in regarding to the 2021 World Championships that are set for Fukuoka, Japan?

We asked for the swim poll and you answered with…

Here are the answers:

Postpone to 2022: 52%

Postpone to late 2021: 34%

Cancel to avoid future conflict: 14%

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