FILE PHOTO – 18th FINA World Swimming Championships – Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay Final – Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, South Korea – July 28, 2019. Team U.S. competes. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic
(Reuters) – The 2021 World Aquatics Championships that were due to be held in July-August 2021 in Fukuoka, Japan could be rescheduled after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed to 2021, swimming’s world governing body FINA said on Tuesday.
The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 this year, were postponed to 2021 earlier in the day, the first such delay in the Games’ 124-year modern history, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The World Aquatics Championships are scheduled for July 16-Aug. 1 next year but FINA said they would reconsider the dates after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizers released a joint statement on postponing the Games.
“FINA will now work closely with the host organising committee… with the Japan Swimming Federation and with the Japanese public authorities, in order to determine flexibility around the dates of the competition, if necessary and in agreement with the IOC,” FINA said in a statement here
“FINA’s main goal is to ensure the success of its showcase event, while considering the importance of athlete wellbeing and maximizing opportunities for aquatics stars to compete at the highest level.”
FINA said it was also “well aware” of the problems faced by aquatics athletes around the world, with training facilities closed and government protocols on social distancing making it nearly impossible to train for competition.
More than 377,300 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and 16,520 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Japan has more than 1,800 cases with 52 deaths.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge