Doha has won its bid to host the 2023 FINA World Championships and FINA World Masters Championships. Following final presentations in Budapest, Hungary, the FINA Bureau elected Doha over Nanjing, bringing FINA’s flagship event to the Middle East for the first time in its long history.
Speaking from Budapest, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee, H.E. Dr. Thani Abdulrahman Al-Kuwari, said:
“It is an absolute honour for Doha to host the 2023 FINA World Championships and FINA World Masters Championships. We would like to thank FINA for the trust that they have placed in us and we guarantee to deliver on our commitments. Hosting the FINA Championships has been a longstanding dream of Qatar’s and we are committed to hosting a spectacular edition of the event, which will showcase the very best of aquatic sports and capture the attention of new athletes and new audiences, helping aquatics to grow and develop in a new region. We are very much looking forward to working in partnership with FINA over the years ahead.”
Doha has hosted multiple FINA events over recent years, including the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships, four editions of the FINA World Cup and the 2009 FINA Diving World Series but neither Doha nor the Middle East have hosted FINA’s flagship event. A significant part of Doha’s bid focussed on the opportunity that hosting the World Championships in the Middle East for the first time in history would bring. Doha is a gateway to 450 million people across 22 countries and 60 per cent are under the age of 30. This gives the opportunity to showcase aquatics to a new region and a new generation. This huge population will be inspired to participate in aquatics, creating more elite athletes from across the region, providing more role models, spreading the values of sport and engaging the whole population through aquatics.
Speaking during Doha’s bid presentation, 14-year-old talented young Qatari swimming star, Yacoub Al-Khulaifi, said:
“Competing in the 2014 World Championships in front of a home crowd was an amazing feeling. It was even more amazing to see the number of people that took up swimming afterwards – my cousin, for example, joined a club straight after – and now I’m worried he’s going to be better than me! If we were to host the FINA Championships, just imagine how many more people would be inspired to take up not just swimming – but all of the other aquatics sports too. It is my ambition to be crowned as Qatar’s first ever World Champion – and to do this in Qatar would be a dream come true. I want to be a role model for my country. I want to inspire more youngsters in Qatar and in my region to see that anything is possible.”
The Doha 2023 World Championships promise to be one of the most compact in history with all venues, facilities and hotels located within a 15km radius. The Organising Committee will utilise Doha’s existing world-class facilities with the swimming, synchronised swimming and water-polo taking place in the famous Aspire Dome, which will transform from the world’s biggest indoor multi-sport arena into the world’s biggest indoor aquatics venue. The diving will take place at Hamad Aquatic Centre, home to the 2014 World Championships and FINA World Cup series, and the open water swimming and high diving will take place in the iconic MIA Park, with Doha’s stunning city skyline as a backdrop.
Speaking at the end of Doha’s presentation, Khaleel Al Jabir, President of the Qatar Swimming Association and Vice-Chair of the Bid Committee, said:
“Doha is promising to deliver a unique opportunity for FINA. We have the desire, the passion and the commitment to deliver. Our story is your story. Your dreams are our dreams. Today we are offering you the opportunity to take aquatics to new levels. It will be a milestone moment in the history of our
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