After extensive discussions between all international federations, the aquatics calendar is starting to take shape again, following the postponement of a number of events.
With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games now commencing on the 23rd July 2021, FINA and LEN have, in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), started to produce a revised calendar across all disciplines.
The first major event of 2021 will now be the FINA Diving World Cup, which will take place in the same venue in Tokyo that will host the majority of aquatics events during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Diving World Cup, slated for 23-28 February, is the final qualifying event for Olympic places, with Team GB still aiming to qualify four spots to complement the eight already secured at last summer’s World Championships.
Next up, also in Tokyo, will be the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for Artistic Swimming, scheduled for 4-8 March 2021. Supported by their UK Sport Aspiration Funding, Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe will be aiming to do enough to ensure they make their Olympic debut in the Duet events in July.
Back in Europe, the rearranged LEN European Aquatics Championships will now take place from the 10-23 May, in Budapest, Hungary as originally planned, with all disciplines featuring. Although exact dates for each event are yet to be confirmed, we expect the two week event to follow a similar format to that originally planned for this year.
Later in May 2021 a four strong British Marathon Swimming squad of Alice Dearing, Danielle Huskisson, Hector Pardoe and Jack Burnell will head to Fukuoka in search of their place at the Olympic Games, courtesy of the Marathon Swimming Olympic Qualifier, which will take place on the 29th and 30th May.
FINA have also confirmed that the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, which based on their original dates would have clashed with the Olympic Games, will now take place almost 12 months later, running from 13-29 May 2022.
Of the restructuring of the competition calendar, British Swimming Chief Executive, Jack Buckner, said:
“Simply put, I’m pleased that the international calendar for next year is starting to take shape, and I’m pleased we’re not trying to squeeze major competitions into the final few months of 2020 – the health and welfare of the aquatics community remains our number one priority at this moment. Whilst extensive planning has already been done, the international calendar now means we can finalise our domestic plans and hope to unveil the domestic calendar in the next few weeks.”
Dates for other international and domestic events are still being finalised and will be communicated in due course.