FINA open to moving 2021 worlds after Olympics postponement

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) said on Tuesday that it is prepared to move next year's world championships after the 2020 Olympics were postponed to no later than summer 2021.

The swimming worlds are set to be held in Fukuoka in Japan between 16 July and 1 August next year, but Tuesday's historic announcement that this summer's Tokyo Games have been pushed back throws those dates into doubt.

"FINA will now work closely with the host organising committee of the 2021 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, with the Japan Swimming Federation and with the Japanese public authorities, in order to determine flexibility around the dates of the competition, if necessary and in agreement with the IOC (International Olympic Committee)," FINA said in a statement.

FINA added that it wanted "to ensure the success of its showcase event, while considering the importance of athlete wellbeing".

The spread of Covid-19 has killed over 16 900 people according to an AFP tally, led to almost two billion worldwide being put into lockdown, and decimated the sporting calendar.

Tuesday's postponement of the Olympics to next year creates a headache for sports federations, with both swimming and athletics - arguably the Games' two biggest sports - holding their world championships next year.