China, Japan and Qatar named as only bidders for Fina Worlds

The International Aquatics Federation (Fina) has revealed that China, Japan and Qatar are the only three countries that remain in the running to stage its World Championships and World Masters Championships in 2021 and 2023.

Fina in March this year opened a new bidding process for its 2021 Worlds after confirming that Budapest would stage the 17th World Championships and World Masters Championships in July 2017. The Hungarian capital had been awarded the 2021 event, but will instead replace Guadalajara as host for 2017 after to funding concerns forced the Mexican city to withdraw.

The global governing body in June said it had received expressions of interest from Argentina (Buenos Aires), Australia (Melbourne/Sydney), China (Nanjing/Wuhan), Germany, Japan (Fukuoka/Tokyo), Turkey (Istanbul) and Qatar (Doha) for the 2021 and 2023 events. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was also said to be interested in staging the Championships.

However, Fina announced in August that Australia and Germany had withdrawn from the running while Argentina last month also opted to drop out of the race. Both Turkey and the UAE are also said to have withdrawn from the process despite having lodged their interest in hosting.

Despite a number of bidders having dropped out, Fina executive director Cornel Marculescu today (Friday) told the Reuters news agency that three candidates remain in contention.

“We have three for the moment, definitely three,” Marculescu said. “Nanjing, Fukuoka and Doha are the bidders. This is the finished deadline.”

Marculescu’s declaration comes despite Fina originally having set a deadline of October 20 for interested parties to lodge bids. Fina will vote to decide which two cities will host the events at a meeting in Dubai, UAE on November 8.