LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The next swimming world championships were formally postponed for a second time Tuesday because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will now take place in 2023 in Japan.
World swim body FINA said Fukuoka will host the every-two-years championships from July 14-30 next year instead of in May.
It’s the third attempt by the Japanese city which was first due to host in July 2021 until that was pushed back 10 months to make space for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.
Fukuoka first hosted the world swim championships in 2001, and the original date was meant to celebrate the 20th-year anniversary.
The knock-on effect of a second delay has been to move the originally scheduled 2023 worlds in Doha, Qatar to a new slot in January 2024, two months later than planned.
That means the world’s best swimmers, divers and water polo players should have three top-tier events in just over 12 months — the 2023 and 2024 worlds then the Paris Olympics that open July 26, 2024.
The previous swim worlds were held in July 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.
The latest worlds postponement was first announced last week by city officials in Fukuoka.
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