FINA has decided to postpone the 2021 World Junior Swimming Championships to August 2022.
The event was originally scheduled for August 24-29, 2021 in Kazan, Russia. It will also be held in Kazan in August 2022, but the dates have not yet been announced.
The decision to postpone the event is motivated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In particular, some nations, including Australia, announced that they would not send a team for 2021 due to concerns around the infections. Although Australia was among the countries with fewer infections and victims, to date it still has limited immunity to the virus. The mass vaccination campaign is struggling to take off.
According to data provided by Bloomberg, Australia has 4.5 million doses of the vaccine available, which would cover only 8.8% of the population. The data points to a marked lag in the country compared to much of the developed world.
Australian Olympic athletes and coaches were among the first to be vaccinated. However, the country has decided not to send teams to the Junior World Championships and the Universiade.
While FINA has not yet released the news to the media. The Junior World Championships are still on the official calendar.
the host All-Russia Swimming Federation announced the postponement this week.
The health and safety of our athletes and all those attending FINA events is our top priority. There is no doubt that Kazan is more than ready to host the athletes in the safest conditions possible this summer. However, we must also ensure that athletes from different countries have the same opportunities to participate in such prestigious competitions.
We are aware that, despite all measures taken, the risks and consequences cannot be completely eliminated.
Furthermore, international travel in the current situation remains a major problem for parents of underage athletes. It is a major risk factor that is very difficult to control. Travel restrictions imposed by various countries may again be tightened at short notice, depending on the epidemiological situation. The above factors are expected to lead to difficulties that will affect the potential number of talented young competitors in the highly anticipated Junior World Swimming Championships in Russia.
After an in-depth discussion on this issue, the management of FINA has come to the decision to consider the possibility of postponing the scheduled championship until the end of August 2022.
The last edition of the Junior Swimming World Championships took place in Budapest in 2019.