World Aquatics and the organising committee of the World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2023 confirmed the event’s competition schedule, which will see 75 medal events take place across six aquatics disciplines. The largest city on Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka will host swimming, artistic swimming, open water swimming, diving, high diving, and water polo from 14-30 July 2023.
Fukuoka returns as the focal point of elite aquatics athletes and championship events, with the city set to host its second World Aquatics Championships this July after having successfully holding the event in 2001.
Following consultation with athletes, teams, broadcasters and other key stakeholders, World Aquatics and the local event organisers have locked in the dates and times for 20th edition of World Aquatics Championships where some 2,500 athletes from nearly 200 countries are expected to take part.
Fukuoka 2023 will start with artistic swimming and diving on the day of the Opening Ceremonies, 14 July, at the Fukuoka Prefectural Pool and Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall A, respectively. Open water swimming competitions start on 15 July at Seaside Momochi Beach Park while the preliminary rounds of the Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Tournament will get underway on 16 July at Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall B as these four events open the 17-day event.
Swimming returns to its customary spot of anchoring the second half of the World Aquatics Championships, starting on Day 10 (23 July), and running through to the end of the event that awards the final medals in the Men’s and Women’s 4x100m Medley Relays. Taking place at the Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall A, this pool was the setting for all-time great performances in the pool.
In 2001, there were many outstanding swims, including the launching of Michael Phelps’s amazing career, as he won his first international medal, taking gold in the men’s 200m butterfly. Among the other standout swims included Australia’s Ian Thorpe winning six golds (200m, 400m, 800m freestyle along with three relays), and USA’s Natalie Coughlin, who won her first-ever global title in the 100m backstroke. The California native would go on to win 19 more long course golds as well as stand on the top step of the Olympic podium 12 times.
High Diving makes its return to the World Aquatics Championships at Seaside Momochi Beach Park, with the competition running from 25-27 July.
The second half of the World Aquatics Championships will also see the water polo move into the knockout stage of the tournament on 22 July. The women’s bronze and gold medal games are set to take place on 28 July with the men’s tournament concluding one day later.
World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam expressed his excitement for the competitions at the upcoming World Aquatics Championships, and his satisfaction at the certainty that announcing the competition schedules brings for athletes and countries.
“It’s with immense pleasure that we are able to confirm the competition schedule for the World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2023. We have been eagerly awaiting our return to competing in front of the aquatic fans from Fukuoka, Japan, and the rest of the world. This competition schedule is an important step in preparing the showcase for aquatics athletes to shine,” the World Aquatics President said. “The flexibility and resolve that Fukuoka has shown to host these championships, following the global pandemic, has been extremely impressive and has been of great benefit to our sports and our athletes. We are once again looking forward with eager anticipation to seeing aquatics sport take centre stage again in Fukuoka.”