The second leg of the 2021 FINA Artistic Swimming World Series circuit, scheduled for March 11-13 in Suzhou, China, has been cancelled. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) did not make any announcement but updated its website to reflect the decision.
The China Open was also cancelled last season, before the entire World Series circuit was called off two months later. This time however, it should not come as a surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic is still significantly impacting the majority of countries around the globe. Many have closed their borders to foreigners and restricted international travels for their citizens. Being allowed into China at this time is impossible without a valid resident permit.
The third and fourth World Series legs are set for April 9-11 and April 16-18 in Hungary and Russia, respectively. It is still unclear if these events will move forward in person. The hosts may decide to switch to a virtual format that the American and Canadian federations have already opted for.
The first meet of the World Series is a virtual one hosted by USA Artistic Swimming. The athletes have submitted their routines by now, and judging is taking place this weekend. The entire competition will air on February 20-21.
This news comes after the postponement of the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. Originally planned for March, FINA and the Japanese Federation had to push it back by two months for similar, COVID-19-related reasons.
ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA MARMET
Cover photo by Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia.
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