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Diving World Cup heads back to China, Fina details new funding programme

Fina, the global governing body of aquatic sports, has awarded its 2018 Diving World Cup to the Chinese city of Wuhan and has revealed plans to form a new development programme that will divert funds from its share of television revenue from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The announcements were made at a Fina Bureau meeting in Sanya, China. The Diving World Cup is held on a biennial basis, with the last edition being staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. Four out of the past six events have been held in China, a powerhouse in diving, and the World Cup will return to the country from June 5-10 next year.

In other hosting news, Fina has awarded its 2018 World Junior Diving Championships to Kiev, Ukraine and the 2018 World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships to Eilat, Israel.

However, the headline announcement from the meeting came in the formation of Fina Aquatics Olympic Support. The programme will seek to directly support national federations through the distribution of up to 70 per cent of the IOC TV revenue share. This project represents a total of $21.5m (€18.6m) in the next four-year period.

The funds distributed will come as an addition to the amount already available through the Fina Development Programme and will be given on an equal share basis. Therefore, each national federation participating at the World Championships, World Swimming Championships (25m) or World Junior Championships will be offered up to $25,000 each year to assist in specific development projects.

Fina, through a dedicated Commission, said it will carefully study and approve the projects submitted by the federations before assigning funds. “Considering the top position of Fina in the Olympic Movement, and the decisive contribution and support of our members to this achievement, we think it’s fair to create a dedicated programme to support their activities and development in the five continents,” Fina president Julio Maglione said.

In other news, Fina has said it will stage a Water Polo Conference in the first half of 2018, to discuss and recommend new paths for increasing the popularity and improving the worldwide value of what it describes as the first Olympic team sport.