The 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022 came to a close today after two weeks of breath-taking action, record-breaking performances and dramatic finishes.
More than 2,000 athletes from 180 countries competed in front of more than 130,000 spectators over the course of the FINA World Championships. The event reinforced the sport’s global appeal with 326 broadcast hours distributed across 192 countries.
“The vibrant capital city of Budapest has been the perfect host for the FINA World Championships. The venues and competition have been superb, and the friendly welcome we received from the Hungarian people will be remembered for many years to come,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “The athletes once again shined on the world stage. We thank you for your efforts, and for those who helped put on the showcase global aquatics event in record time.”
Three new World Records were set in the swimming pool with Italy’s Thomas Ceccon finishing the men’s 100m Backstroke in 51.60 seconds, Kristof Milak of Hungary winning the men’s 200m Butterfly with a time of 1:50.34 and Australia’s Mixed 4×100 Freestyle Relay winning gold in 3:19.38. Several more FINA World Championship records, continental records and world junior records were broken in what was a fantastic swimming competition.
In Artistic Swimming, a stunning week of competition saw Italy score the most points throughout the week to receive the overall winner award. Ukraine won the largest number of medals (two golds and five silvers) but finished second to China after China won two more gold medals (four golds and two bronzes). Japan finished third.
In Diving, China continued its dominance as the country’s divers won gold in all 13 diving events. Over 3,000 divers from 47 nations performed during the eight-day competition including nine Olympic medallists from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In a special moment, the diving community came together to celebrate Ukraine’s mixed team narrowly securing second place in the 10m synchro.
Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha became the first athlete in the history of Open Water Swimming to win a world title in the same event five times when she claimed gold in the Women’s 25km. Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri equalled history as he became only the second person (joining Florian Wellbrock of Germany) to have won the 1,500m and 10km in the same FINA World Championships. Paltrinieri and Wellbrock battled it out both in the pool and open water with both swimmers winning two golds each. Netherland’s Sharon Van Rouwendaal also joined an illustrious club of open water swimmers to have won the 10km at both the Olympic Games and the FINA World Championships.
The women’s water polo saw USA demonstrate why they are currently the world’s best at as they overcame Hungary with a controlled 9-7 victory in the final, their fourth consecutive and record-extending seventh overall title. In the men’s water polo final, Spain won 15-14 in a penalty shootout over Italy, the defending world champions.
A total of 71 FINA Scholarship holders competed in Budapest and for the second time in history, the event also saw the participation of a FINA Refugee Team comprised of Yusra Mardini, Alaa Masoo, Eyad Masoud.
As part of FINA’s ongoing commitment to the global development of aquatics sport a number of additional programmes were held on the sidelines of the FINA World Championships. A clinic for young swimmers from the Tamas Darnyi swimming school in Budapest was held with Anthony Ervin and Ranomi Kromowidjojo leading the class. There was a FINA Ambassadors’ meeting with Budapest 2022 volunteers and two workshops on mental wellbeing for FINA Scholarship holders. In addition, there was a mentorship programme workshop to improve development and install good governance practice in 10 National Federations: St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Malawi, Uzbekistan, Faroe Islands, Philippines, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Honduras, Central African Republic
The FINA Extraordinary General Congress was held at the beginning of the FINA World Championships which saw the election of the Aquatics Integrity Unit members and the adoption of FINA’s new Policy on Eligibility for the Men’s and Women’s Competition Categories. The results of the first FINA Athletes’ Committee elections were announced with recently-retired swimmer Alia Atkinson (JAM) to chair the Committee from 2022-2026. The composition of the new FINA Technical Committees was also published.
The FINA World Championships continue with a tradition of event sustainability, which included FINA and the LOC relying on electric scooters and bicycles for travel between the two main competition venues of Duna Arena and the Alfred Hajos National Aquatics Complex.