FINA Communications Department

With exactly 30 days to go to the 18th edition of the FINA World Championships [1] to be held from July 12-28, the Gwangju 2019 Organising Committee has announced that South Korea will be represented by the largest-ever delegation of athletes.

Under the theme “Dive into Peace” the FINA World Championships, which is composed of competitions across FINA’s six disciplines, will be staged in Gwangju, about 330km South of Seoul and in the town of Yeosu for the open water swimming events.

For the first time in South Korea since the inception of the FINA World Championships in 1973, athletes will vie for 76 gold medals in swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving.

The Organisers have announced that about 4,500 athletes and officials from around 190 countries have registered for the World Championships, the largest ever hosted in terms of country attendance. The previous World Championships in Budapest (HUN) in July 2017 saw 177 countries represented, while 184 nations took part in the 2015 World Championships in Kazan (RUS).

South Korea will be represented by 82 athletes (29 in swimming, 26 in water polo, 11 in artistic swimming, and 8 in diving and open water swimming).

Korea’s sensation Kim Seo-yeong represents the best medal hope for the host. She had a successful year in 2018, winning the gold medal in the women's 200m IM and the silver in the 400m IM at the Asian Games. In the 200m IM, Kim's winning time of 2:08.34 was both the South Korean national record and the Asian Games competition record.

The 25-year-old said her goal in Gwangju is to break her own national record. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, also expected to make waves in Gwangju this summer, owns the best women's 200m IM time in 2:08.50.

Other swimming stars to watch for in Gwangju will be Olympic and World champion and record holder Katie Ledecky (USA), World champion Caeleb Dressel (USA), Olympic and World champion Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and China’s Sun Yang who will try to defend his 400m free title.

The swimming competition will be staged at the Nambu International Aquatics Centre from Sunday July 21 until Sunday July 28.

You can check out the full competition schedule on FINA website here [2]

The next hosts of the FINA World Championships will be Fukuoka, Japan, in 2021 and Doha, Qatar, in 2023.