British Swimming statement on World Championship announcements

7 Feb 2022

British Swimming acknowledges FINA's decision to host a 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, as well as the earlier decision to move the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan to July 2023. 

On Monday 7th February 2022, FINA confirmed that a World Championships will take place in 2022, with Budapest playing host to the meet, which will incorporate swimming, diving, marathon swimming, artistic swimming and water polo. 

That will precede the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (28th July - 8th August) and then the European Aquatics Championships in Rome (11th - 21st August). 

Reflecting on the latest announcement, British Swimming Associate Performance Director Tim Jones said: "We acknowledge FINA's latest update on the confirmation of a 2022 World Championships in Budapest, and our World Class Leadership Team is now assessing the performance, logistical and financial implications of this announcement.

"We have remarked before on the outstanding resilience and agility our athletes, coaches and staff have shown over the past two years, adapting to new and unexpected scenarios. However, we are also very mindful of the expectation and welfare challenges this now places on our athlete and staffing cohorts. We will be working with them to determine the best way forwards through this eye-opening sequence of top-level competition opportunities, not only between June and August of this season, but all the way through to 2025."

Of the Budapest announcement, Husain Al-Musallam, FINA president, said: “As an aquatics community, we are finding solutions around the pandemic and today’s announcement is an important step in this process. We know we need to be imaginative in our approach in navigating through the current health crisis for our athletes. Today’s agreement is a testament to this work." 

Read more on the latest FINA announcement here.

Read below for information on the previous announcement, which confirmed the rescheduling of the Fukuoka and Doha World Championship events, and reaction from the date of that news (1st February 2022).

This update was published on 1st February 2022

The World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka meet was initially scheduled to take place from 13th-29th May 2022 following the movement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from 2020 to 2021.

However, FINA have confirmed that the Fukuoka World Championships will now take place from 14th-30th July 2023, "to ensure a safe and successful event for everyone involved." The 20th World Championships, due to be held in Doha, Qatar in November 2023, are now due to be held in January 2024.

The FINA statement continued: "FINA is in constant dialogue with athletes and coaches regarding the upcoming international aquatics competition calendar, with the goal of minimising the impact on athlete preparation and performance, while acknowledging the current health impacts of the Omicron COVID-19 variant."

Speaking of FINA's announcement, British Swimming CEO Jack Buckner said: "We respect and support the decision to reschedule the World Championships in Fukuoka in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the continuing impacts and complications it brings to major international events.

"While major spectacles such as a World Aquatics Championships brings our brilliant sports to the fore and provides a priceless platform on which our athletes can shine, the health and wellbeing of everyone involved in and outside of our sports remains of paramount importance.

"At British Swimming, our athletes, coaches and staff have shown time and again over the past two years that they can be versatile and adaptable in difficult circumstances, and this is another moment where I am sure those qualities will come to the fore.

"The 2022 aquatics calendar remains a busy and exciting one, with Commonwealth Games, European Championships and Para Swimming World Championships all still on the horizon for our senior athletes, as well as big junior competition opportunities."

British Swimming Associate Performance Director Tim Jones added: "While this is disappointing news, our athletes and coaches have shown incredible agility these past two years - and we have no doubt that they will adapt to these changes in a positive manner.

"We now look forward to fully supporting the Home Nations at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, before concluding the season at the European Championships in Rome."

Husain Al-Musallam, FINA President, said: "Given the current pandemic situation and the measures currently in place in Japan, FINA and key stakeholders of the Fukuoka 2022 Organising Committee have agreed to reschedule the 19th FINA World Championships to 14-30 July 2023. The 20th FINA World Championships in Doha, Qatar, will now take place in January 2024.

"These decisions have been taken in the best interests of everyone involved. FINA will continue to prioritise the welfare of competition participants and take decisions as early as possible given the circumstances, in order to provide a measure of certainty to aquatics athletes and those who support them."