Rome, Apr 1:
After new dates were announced for the Tokyo Olympics, swimming’s governing body is going back to the drawing board to figure out when to hold its next world championships.
The biannual aquatics event was scheduled for Fukuoka, Japan, from July 16-Aug. 1, 2021. But on Monday, the Tokyo Games were pushed back a full year by the coronavirus pandemic and moved to the same period — July 23-Aug. 8, 2021.
That likely leaves FINA, swimming’s governing body, with two options for its biggest event: A move to the end of September and the beginning of October 2021; or May-June 2022.
Postponing for a full year would be complicated due to the already full schedule of aquatics events in July and August, 2022, which includes the Commonwealth Games, European swimming and water polo championships and the Pan Pacific swimming championships; plus the Asian Games in September.
Holding worlds before the games is undesirable because it would conflict with national Olympic trials around the globe.
“I need to see the information from Fukuoka, from the partners, from television, from everybody. And then we can have a conclusion,” FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
While Marculescu was adamant last week against a move to 2022, that now seems like a possibility.
“For that reason I don’t want to have any opinion, because it doesn’t reflect the reality,” Marculescu said when asked about his previous comments.
World Athletics has already announced that its world championships in Eugene, Oregon, will be pushed back to 2022 but has not selected dates.
Marculescu said FINA “probably needs another two weeks” before making its decision.
Both options FINA is considering have drawbacks. (Agencies)