As the sports industry is turning to new ways of maintaining an activity in response to the COVID-19 world pandemic, FINA organised its first ever virtual competition on September 26, 2020.

Swimmers from FINA approved development Centre in Kazan (RUS), and training Centres Azura Florida (USA) and Thanyapura Phuket (THA) raced in their home pools, in various swimming events, and recorded their times before sharing them with their fellow scholarship holders.

The aim of this virtual competition was to offer an alternative for the athletes to continue training in the same conditions than before the pandemic and prepare the best possible way for the upcoming season. This first and unique initiative created a competition-like and safe environment for the FINA scholarship holders training in these Centres, a much-needed opportunity in the current climate to measure their progress and level against other young swimming talents in other parts of the world.

Without travelling, this virtual competition provided a risk-free frame and it was reported to be very successful by fulfilling the desire for competition to resume.

“This new format of events proposed by FINA is relevant and interesting for a Centre like ours. Not only it unites athletes and coaches but it also allows the Centres to exchange experience and prepare for the 2021 season.” said Ranko Tepavcevic, Head of the FINA Development Centre in Kazan.

“FINA has worked on a proposal that would be beneficial and risk-free for these young talents. They need to continue to train and compete in optimum conditions despite the current challenges. We hope that we have generated an occasion for the scholarship holders to showcase their progress under pressure but also in a fun and innovative approach.” said FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione.

You can see the times of the virtual competition here