FINA Communications Department

An important IOC delegation, led by President Dr Thomas Bach was on July 23, 2019 in Gwangju (KOR) with the occasion of the 18th FINA World Championships, and had the occasion to witness the third evening of the Swimming finals at the Nambu University venue. 

Dr Bach was accompanied by four IOC Vice-Presidents, IOC Director General and IOC Sports Director and had the occasion to present medals, together with FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione to the best in the women’s 1500m free, a final won by Italian Simona Quadarella. 

En route for Tokyo (JPN), where this Wednesday, the “One Year to Go” to the Olympic Games in 2020 will take place, the IOC group took also the opportunity to formally meet with the FINA Bureau, the first meeting of this kind in the frame of the FINA World Championships.  

Welcoming the IOC President in Gwangju, Dr Maglione said: “As leaders of the IOC, you know that Aquatics is a pillar of the Olympic movement. The success of our competitions within the Games’ programme is undeniable. Our five disciplines are generating the highest cumulative TV viewing rate of the Games and this is also true concerning the internet reach and digital exposure among young fans. In London 2012, Aquatics was also the favourite Sport among the youth.”

The FINA President also considered: “FINA is attentive to a very challenging sport business environment. That is why we continue progressing and innovating in the way we run and structure our organisation, but also by adopting new events in our competitions. The launch in 2019 of the ‘FINA Champions Swim Series’ is an example of this effort: Swimming is today a strong Sport, capable of generating worldwide Stars. These top-athletes want new opportunities to shine and show their talent. The Series are filling this need and were highly appreciated by our swimmers, coaches, National Federations, spectators and media.”

Dr Thomas Bach also praised the FINA effort: “Aquatics will be the Sport in Tokyo 2020 with the highest number of medals. While FINA can be proud of this achievement, this also brings a higher level of responsibility. In the last six years, FINA has set some benchmarks – the way it presents its competitions, the way you attract spectators on site and TV viewers around the world”, admitted the IOC President.