Following the recent announcement of the Refugee Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020, FINA has welcomed the selection of two swimmers for the Team and offered its full support. FINA has also welcomed the overall development of the Refugee Olympic Team programme, following its successful debut at Rio 2016.

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee living and training in Germany, was part of the pioneering Refugee Olympic Team at Rio 2016, where she won her heat in the 100m butterfly. She will be joined at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre by Alaa Maso, a freestyle sprint specialist also from Syria. The two athletes, who knew of each other before beginning their Olympic journey, left home amid conflict to undertake a long voyage through Europe to Germany.

“FINA applauds Yusra and Alaa for their selection to the Refugee Olympic Team. Tokyo 2020 will see more opportunities for aquatics athletes than ever before, across a record number of events. We are delighted that these opportunities will also extend to refugees thanks to the vision and professionalism of the IOC under the leadership of President Thomas Bach. This initiative has FINA’s full support,” said newly-elected FINA President Husain Al-Musallam.

“I am determined to ensure FINA supports all aquatics athletes, without discrimination. Like water itself, the chance to practice aquatics disciplines should be universal,” continued President Al-Musallam. “The IOC has clearly shown the way in providing opportunities for refugees and it is a lead that we will wholeheartedly follow.”