Qatar to make a splash with 2024 international swimming championship

Doha will be hosting the Long Course Worlds for the first time, while it has previously hosted a number of FINA events.

The competition dates for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships have been revealed, with FINA announcing they will be taking place in Doha for the first time ever.

The competition will be run from February 2 to February 18 2024, ending 159 days before the start of the Olympic Games in Paris, according to information released by FINA on Tuesday.

The 2022 championships in Fukuoka, Japan were delayed to 2023 due to Covid-19 concerns, and the World Championships in Doha were initially scheduled to take place in November 2023.

In the condensed 19-month period between the Olympics, FINA then added this year’s championships in Budapest, offering competitors three World Championship competitions.

Doha will be hosting the Long Course Worlds for the first time, while it has previously hosted a number of FINA events, including the 2014 Short Course World Championships, nine iterations of the FINA World Cup, and four Marathon Swim World Series contests.

Water polo, artistic swimming, and the swimming competition will all take place in the Aspire Dome, which will be transformed from the largest indoor multi-sport stadium in the world to the largest indoor aquatics venue.

The facility is expected to have temporary seating for 10,000 spectators.

“At FINA, we are committed to giving athletes additional opportunities to compete on the championship stage,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to this. We are extremely fortunate to have an event host in Doha that shares our passion for aquatics with the willingness and flexibility to organise this prestigious event to the benefit of aquatics athletes everywhere.”

Open water and high diving, which were not competed in Budapest but will be in Doha, will be staged near the Museum of Islamic Art. Diving will take place at the nearby Hamad Aquatic Centre.

In November it was estimated that the Olympics would be eight to nine months away. Now, they will be less than five and a half months away, or roughly 159 days from the end of the Games on February 18 to their start on July 26.

In contrast to conference championship meets, which are held in February, the NCAA postseason is also in full swing at that time, therefore the great majority of collegiate swimmers won’t be there.

The weather, particularly for the open water competitors, was one of the main reasons why the competition was initially scheduled to take place in November instead of the typical summer timeframe.

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