With the 2020 Summer Olympic Games getting pushed back to the summer of 2021, it was no surprise when FINA (the International Swimming Federation) announced on Monday that the 2021 FINA World Swimming Championships has been postponed to 2022.
The championships were to be held from July 16 to August 1, 2021, in Fukuoka, Japan. The new date is May 13 to 29, 2022.
According to an official release from FINA, the decision was made following consultation with the city of Fukuoka, the Japan Swimming Federation, organizers, athletes, coaches, technical committees, TV partners and sponsors.
“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. We look forward to witnessing the world’s best aquatic athletes from around the world competing in the city of Fukuoka in 2022,” said FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione.
He continued: “At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, FINA hopes the announcement of these dates will allow for some clarity in planning for all concerned.”
At the last FINA World Championships held in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2019, the Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) sent a four-member team. The team included Joanna Evans, Jared Fitzgerald, Margaret Higgs and Izaak Bastian and was coached by Roric Fink.
Evans swam in the women’s 200 meters (m) freestyle, 400m and the 800m freestyle races. Fitzgerald swam in the men’s 50m and 100m free races. Higgs was in action in the 100m and 200m breaststroke races. Capping off The Bahamas’ performances was Bastian, who swam the 50m and 100m breast.
Evans, who was preparing to swim for both meets, said that the postponement is one of the better options.
“With the Olympics being postponed, I think this was one of the better options,” she said. “It would have been challenging to place the two largest swimming competitions in a year and swimmers would have had a difficult time preparing for both meets when it comes to tapering and fine-tuning for both meets.”
She added that if FINA had kept the initial date, swimmers would likely have to choose between the summer Olympics and world championships.
Bastian said he expected the postponement and will be in his senior year at Florida State University when the meet occurs.
“With the postponement of the Olympics this year, I expected a lot of other big meets to get postponed and canceled. I did not see them canceling the world championships, but I definitely thought they were going to postpone it.”
He continued: “The timing isn’t bad for me, well not the best, but May 2022 is when I will, hopefully, be graduating from my undergraduate studies and finishing up my college career. Hopefully, this does not fall when I am expected to graduate and hopefully, I can go and have a good time. I can cap off my college career on a good note.”
Also postponed was the World Athletics Track and Field Championships, set for Eugene, Oregon, from August 6 to 15. It was postponed to July 15 to 24, 2022.
Other recent event changes that stem from the shifting of the Summer Olympic Games include the 2020 European Aquatics Championships, the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games and the cancelation of the 2020 European Junior Aquatics Championships.
The release also stated that the FINA World Masters Championships will take place in Kyushu, Japan, from May 31 to June 9, 2022.