The curtains have closed on the 14th FINA World Championships in Hangzhou, China, after a six-day top-notch competition that gathered the world’s best short-course swimmers.

With 10 more finals tonight but already many unforgettable moments and excellent sporting performances, FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione officially closed the Championships at a press conference (December 16) just hours before tribute is paid to the best athletes of 2018 at the FINA World Aquatics Gala 2018 in a magnificent “Soirée des Etoiles”.

President Julio C. Maglione praised the Championships and the work of the Organising Committee and the National Federations.

“Before the last session, I would like to share with you the FINA impressions from the 14th edition of our World Swimming Championships (25m) here in Hangzhou, China! And our appreciation is necessarily very positive! The FINA Family had a memorable time in this dynamic and modern city. Our National Federations, their athletes, coaches and officials, lived an intense experience during this last week. They could work and compete in an outstanding venue; they were supported by immense crowds; they produced wonderful performances; and they could enjoy the hospitality and kindness of the Chinese people. Everything was outstanding here in Hangzhou! I am sure that these impressions will be followed by encouraging figures in terms of worldwide TV viewership and digital exposure of this event.

"These Championships definitively improved the strength of Aquatics and confirmed the intense work and commitment of our National Federations, and their respective athletes and coaches I express my sincere gratitude to all Chinese authorities, to the City of Hangzhou, to the China Swimming Association and to the fantastic Organising Committee for their support and enthusiasm. I extend my recognition to our very professional Host Broadcaster, CCTV! Thank you also to you for reporting the wonderful news and stories from these Championships."

Representative of the Hangzhou 2018 Organising Committee Zhang Yadong said:

“The 14th FINA World Swimming Championships has been successful thanks to the support of FINA and the commitment of the local sports authorities. In the swimming pool, the athletes of China have practice themselves and showcase to the world what they are capable of. Tonight we have the last few finals of this competition and then the event will come to a close.

"On behalf of the LOC I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the FINA and the China Swimming Association. Thanks to all third parties and in particular to all media reporters that have attended and covered this event.

"Swimming in “Hangzhou connecting to the world”, our slogan, represents our sincere wishes as we hope for a wider exposure for Hangzhou on the world sport stage.”

Hangzhou 2018 Press and Media Director Zhou Shu said:

“This 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) has attracted more than 400 reporters from China and abroad. It is thanks to your efforts and hard work that the rest of the world have enjoyed the stories of the championships and followed to action. In addition to the event you have also mentioned the volunteers and promoted the beautiful city of Hangzhou. Tonight we are also celebrating the work of the media.”

At the end of the closing conference, the next host of the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju, Korea, made a presentation about the upcoming competition.

Gwangju 2019 Organising Committe President Lee Youg-sup said:

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for your interest and presence. I would also like to thank Dr Julio Maglione for the wonderful introduction of Gwangju.

"As the President of the Organising Committee, I paid close attention to the preparations and operation of these championships in Hangzhou. It was indeed impressive and well-prepared. As the Mayor of the next host city, I observed the readiness of the Hangzhou city to welcome international guests. I believe the expertise acquired here will immensely benefit the preparation of Gwangju 2019.

"Now is the time of Gwangju, a host city which has successfully welcomed other major international events, such as the 2002 FIFA World Cup. With our expertise and the operation of FINA, Gwangju is ready to host the best World Championships that the history will remember.

“In terms of preparation, the state-of-the-art environmental conditions and venues are almost completed for the athletes to realise their full potential. Media facilities will be equipped with the most advanced technologies of IT powerhouse Korea for fast and broad news coverage.

“I can assure you that the experience in Gwangju will be filled with beautiful memories to cherish throughout life.”

FINA is looking forward to seeing you all in Gwangju next year!