After more three long, agonizing weeks, the Artistic Swimming Qualification Tournament has finally been rescheduled. The competition will now be held in Barcelona, Spain, from June 10 – 13, at the same time as the World Series Super Final.
“I sincerely thank and acknowledge the immense support and enthusiasm of the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation in holding this competition in such a challenging and difficult context,” said FINA President Dr. Julio Maglione.
“It is a pride to be able to host once again a FINA event which, in this case, gains more relevance as a qualifier for Tokyo,” added Spanish federation’s president Fernando Carpena. “The great collaboration we always received from the Barcelona City Council and other authorities is appreciated. Of course, also from the Catalonian Swimming Federation, celebrating this year its centenary. The qualification event, together with the Super Final, are certainly unique highlights of this special year.”
The Olympic qualifiers were originally upended at the beginning of the month. On April 3, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) had updated its website to add “Cancelled” next to the diving, artistic swimming, and marathon swim Olympic Qualification Tournaments. Japan initially was supposed to host all three. A few days later, the sport’s world governing body updated the status of these meets to “To Be Confirmed.”
A week later, FINA announced that the diving qualifier would be rescheduled to May 1-6, the original dates of artistic swimming, in Tokyo. Marathon swim was moved to Portugal in mid-June. As for artistic swimming, FINA stated that “[FINA] and its counterparts are still reviewing the staging of this event and a decision will be made in the days to come.”
It took another two weeks of waiting for artistic swimming to know its fate. On April 20, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) issued a statement that the meet would not be held in Japan after all, and that it would be rescheduled to some time in June. In the end, Barcelona has once more come to FINA’s rescue.
This is the third time the artistic swimming qualifiers get rescheduled, following the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021. They were first set for March 2021 before being pushed to May 2021. It is safe to say the entire artistic swimming community hopes this will be the final deferment of this competition.
ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA MARMET
Cover photo courtesy of Federació Catalana de Natació
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