FINA Communications Department

The southern metropolitan city of Gwangju, South Korea, is gearing up to welcome the 18th edition of the FINA World Championships 2019 [1] and the world’s best aquatic athletes.

The countdown to FINA’s signature event reaches 50 days to go today (May 23, 2019).

Under the theme "Dive into Peace," the competition will run from July 12-28 in Gwangju, about 330 kilometers south of Seoul, while the town of Yeosu will host the open water swimming races at the Yeosu Expo Ocean Park.

Gwangju is the third Asian host city of this major event, after Japan's Fukuoka in 2001 and China's Shanghai in 2011.

The local organisers said preparations are well on track, with final touches being finalised.

The athletes will vie for 76 gold medals in six disciplines (swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving).

Gwangju previously hosted the 2015 Summer Universiade and received high marks for running a cost-effective competition. For the World Championships, the city plans to use the main pool constructed for the Universiade.

Sung Baik-You, Gwangju 2019 Organising Committee spokesman said to the Korean news agency Yonhap:

"This competition will open new horizons in swimming in the country,"

"We may not be a swimming powerhouse yet, but we'll hopefully become one. After the World Championships, we hope there will be more swimming pools built across the nation and more people will take up the sport. And maybe some of them will develop into elite swimmers."

Gwangju Organising Committee has prepared a series of cultural events and tour programmes for visitors for July and is working on a special bus route for foreign tourists to visit the city, which is known as a fine culinary destination.

For the duration of the World Championships, Gwangju will host traditional music concerts and dance festivals for athletes, officials and fan. The popular Daein Night Market will be up and running, while the Gwangju Fringe Festival, featuring art performances and exhibitions, will be in full swing.

Dive into Peace | Gwangju 2019 - FINA World Championships [2]