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4-Sport Aquatics World Championships Pushed Back From July 2021 To May 2022

By Chrös McDougall | May 04, 2020, 10:24 a.m. (ET)

Simone Manuel poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on Nov. 23, 2019 in West Hollywood, Calif.


The next aquatics world championships have been pushed back, though not quite a year.

Following the one-year postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to 2021 due to COVID-19, the biennial FINA World Championships for swimming, diving, water polo and artistic swimming have been pushed back to May 13-29, still in Fukuoka, Japan.

The original FINA World Championships dates of July 16-Aug. 1, 2021, would have directly conflicted with the new Olympic Games dates of July 23-Aug. 8.

“After liaising with the relevant stakeholders and receiving feedback from them, we have no doubt that the decision taken will provide the best possible conditions for all participants at the championships,” FINA president Julio Maglione said in a statement. “At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, FINA hopes the announcement of these dates will allow for some clarity in planning for all concerned.”

Aquatics joins a list of other sports that are pushing their biennial world championships from 2021 to 2022, including beach volleyball and track and field.

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The FINA World Championships have been held since 1973, and every other year since 2001.

Team USA led all countries with 36 medals, 15 of them gold, at the last world championships, in 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Among the winners was the U.S. women’s water polo team, which secured its third straight world title in Gwangju. The team will also be going for its third straight Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel tied a record by winning eight medals, six of them gold, in 2019. Only Michael Phelps had previously won eight medals at a global championship, which he did while winning a historic eight gold medals at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.

Fellow American standout Simone Manuel made history of her own when she became the first U.S. woman to sweep the 50- and 100-meter freestyle races. She also won two gold medals in relays.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movements for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.