Country for PR: Hong Kong
Contributor: PR Newswire Asia (Hong Kong)
Saturday, July 13 2019 - 00:44
Gwangju set to host largest-ever FINA world championships
GWANGJU, South Korea, July 12, 2019 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

The 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships will begin Friday, with an opening 
ceremony scheduled for 8:20 p.m. Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, is the 
third Asian host of the event, after Fukuoka of Japan in 2001 and China's 
Shanghai in 2011.


Under the slogan "Dive into Peace," the competition in Gwangju will serve as a 
prelude to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with several Olympic berths at 

This year's competition will be the largest ever, with 2,639 athletes from 194 
countries having signed up by the July 3 deadline. The previous event in 
Budapest two years ago had 2,303 athletes from 177 countries. In 2015 in Kazan, 
Russia, 2,413 athletes from 184 countries competed.

Through July 28, these athletes will be vying for 76 gold medals in swimming, 
diving, water polo, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving.

With 82 athletes, host South Korea will have its largest world championships 
team. There will be 29 in swimming, 26 in water polo, 11 in artistic swimming, 
eight in diving and eight in open water swimming.

American sensation Caeleb Dressel will be one of the biggest international 
stars. He picked up seven gold medals in men's swimming at the last world 
championships in 2017 to equal Michael Phelps' mark for most titles at a single 
competition. Dressel will try to match that feat in Gwangju, and even the great 
Phelps never managed to win seven world titles in back-to-back world 

Another male swimming star, Sun Yang of China, will be chasing his fourth 
consecutive title in the men's 400m freestyle.

On the women's side, American Katie Ledecky will try to rewrite the record 
books in Gwangju. From 2013 to 2017, Ledecky won three gold medals--in 400m, 
800m and 1,500m freestyle--in three consecutive world championships. She owns 
the world records in all three events and will try to sweep those three 
distances at an unprecedented fourth straight worlds.

Ledecky already owns the record for most world titles by a female swimmer, with 

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who has been competing at world championships since 
2009, will look to add to her tally of seven gold, four silver and one bronze. 
Three of those gold medals came in 2017.

Source: The FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019 Organizing Committee