Swimming-Fukuoka World championships postponed to 2023 due to COVID - FINA

(Reuters) - The world swimming championships, scheduled to be held in Fukuoka, Japan in May, have been postponed to July next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport's global governing body said on Tuesday.

The 19th edition of the championships, originally set to take place in 2021 but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the delayed Tokyo Olympics, had been set to run from May 13-29 this year.

"Given the pandemic situation and the measures currently in place in Japan, FINA and key stakeholders of the Fukuoka 2022 Organising Committee have agreed to reschedule the 19th FINA world championships," FINA chief Husain Al-Musallam said.

The 20th world championships in Doha, Qatar, will take place in January, 2024, FINA added. The event was originally scheduled for November, 2023.

"These decisions have been taken in the best interests of everyone involved," Al-Musallam added.

"FINA will continue to prioritise the welfare of competition participants and take decisions as early as possible given the circumstances, in order to provide a measure of certainty to aquatics athletes and those who support them."

FINA said it was in constant dialogue with athletes and coaches on the international competition calendar due to the potential health impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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