Doha has been named as the host city for the 2023 FINA World Championships and FINA World Masters Championships, marking the first time the swimming and aquatic event will take place in the Middle East.
After final presentations in Budapest, Hungary yesterday, the FINA bureau chose Qatar’s capital over the Chinese city of Nanjing.
While Doha has hosted several FINA events in recent years, including the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships, this will be the first time it will have the International Swimming Federation’s flagship event.
In a statement, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee, Dr. Thani Abdulrahman Al-Kuwari, said:
“Hosting the FINA Championships has been a longstanding dream of Qatar’s and we are committed to hosting a spectacular edition of the event, which will showcase the very best of aquatic sports and capture the attention of new athletes and new audiences, helping aquatics to grow and develop in a new region. We are very much looking forward to working in partnership with FINA over the years ahead.”
— FINA (@fina1908) January 31, 2016
Qatar, which is hosting the World Cup in 2022, has been trying to bring several sporting championships to the Middle East.
Last year, it hosted the Men’s Handball World Championship and in 2019, will host the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) championships.
The 2023 championships will be held on a compact site that is 15km in radius, its organizing committee said.
Swimming, synchronized swimming and water-polo will place in the Aspire Dome, which will be transformed from an indoor multi-sport arena into what is billed to be the world’s biggest indoor aquatics venue.
The diving will take place at the Hamad Aquatic Center, home to the 2014 World Championships and FINA World Cup series, while MIA Park, with Doha’s city skyline as a backdrop, will be the venue for the open-water swimming and high diving.
Speaking during Doha’s bid presentation, 14-year-old Qatari swimming star Yacoub Al-Khulaifi said:
“It is my ambition to be crowned as Qatar’s first ever World Champion – and to do this in Qatar would be a dream come true. I want to be a role model for my country. I want to inspire more youngsters in Qatar and in my region to see that anything is possible.”
Congrats, Qatar! Thoughts?