The competition dates for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships have been announced.
FINA revealed Tuesday that the competition will run from February 2-18, 2024 in Doha, Qatar, ending some 159 days before the opening of the Paris Olympic Games.
The World Championships in Doha were originally slated to take place in November 2023—at the time the latest the event has ever been contested in the calendar year—but was pushed back to early 2024 after the 2022 championships in Fukuoka, Japan was postponed to 2023 due to COVID concerns.
FINA then added this year’s championships in Budapest, giving athletes three World Championship competitions in a tight 19-month window between Olympics.
This will be Doha’s first time hosting Long Course Worlds, although the Qatari capital has held several FINA competitions over the years, including the 2014 Short Course World Championships, nine editions of the FINA World Cup and four Marathon Swim World Series events.
The swimming competition, along with water polo and artistic swimming, will take place in the Aspire Dome, which will be renovated from being the world’s largest indoor multi-sport arena (according to FINA) to the world’s largest indoor aquatics venue.
While not mentioned in FINA’s announcement, the venue was expected to have temporary seating for 10,000 spectators.
Diving will take place at the nearby Hamad Aquatic Centre, while open water and high diving—which was not contested in Budapest but will be in Doha—will be held around the Museum of Islamic Art, which is built on an island off an artificial projecting peninsula near Dhow Harbor.
“At FINA, we are committed to giving athletes additional opportunities to compete on the championship stage,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to this. We are extremely fortunate to have an event host in Doha that shares our passion for aquatics with the willingness and flexibility to organize this prestigious event to the benefit of aquatics athletes everywhere.”
At the time of the announcement that the 2023 Worlds in Doha would take place in November, one of the primary reactions from fans—and presumably athletes, coaches, etc.—was how close the event would be to the Paris Olympic Games.
Now the event is significantly closer to Paris. November meant the Olympics would be eight or nine months away, now we know it will be less than five and a half (159 days from the conclusion on Feb. 18 to the opening of the Games on July 26).
Major Championship Schedule, Present-Paris
- 2022 Commonwealth Games – July 28-August 8, 2022 – Birmingham, England
- 2022 European Championships – August 11-21, 2022 – Rome, Italy
- 2022 FINA Short Course World Championships – December 13-18, 2022 – Melbourne, Australia
- 2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships – July 14-30, 2023 – Fukuoka, Japan
- 2024 FINA World Aquatics Championships – February 2-18, 2024 – Doha, Qatar
- 2024 Paris Olympic Games – July 26-August 11 – Paris, France
February is also right in the thick of the NCAA postseason, surely contrasting with conference championship meets, meaning the vast majority of college swimmers will not be attending.
One of the primary reasons why the competition was originally scheduled to run in November (rather than the normal summer timeslot) was due to the weather, especially for the open water athletes.
The average water temperature in Doha in February is 66.9°F, which is actually on the colder side compared to somewhere like Budapest in June (average of 71). In November, water temp typically ranges between 75 and 77°F in Doha, while it can get up into the 90s in the summer.
The weather itself in February falls between 71 and 76°F.