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World Para Swimming Championships shifted to London

Tom Hamer may lead British team at World Para Swimming Championships
Tom Hamer (Image: Facebook)

London gets the hosting rights of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships after Malaysian government failed to provide the IPC with the necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimmers could participate, free from discrimination, and safely in the Championships. Malaysia was earlier chosen as the hosting nation, but the rights got stripped off earlier this year.

In the new scenario,the rearranged 2019 World Para Swimming Championships will take place in London, Great Britain, from 9 to 15 September, World Para Swimming has announced. The London Aquatics Centre, located on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, played host to the swimming events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and will once again welcome the best in the world later this year.

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The World Para Swimming Championships, London 2019, a key qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, will be the ninth edition of the World Para Swimming Championships.

The decision to stage the event in the British capital follows the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) decision earlier this year to strip Malaysia of the right to host the event.

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Speaking during the annoucement, the IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “We are delighted to announce London as the host city of the World Para Swimming Championships. I cannot thank the Mayor of London, UK Sport and British Swimming enough for their outstanding efforts stepping in to stage and support this Championships, a key Tokyo 2020 qualifier, at such short notice.”

“I have no doubt the whole of the Para swimming community will be appreciative of the efforts they have made to organise this competition. The London Aquatics Centre brings back many fantastic memories of the 2012 Paralympic Games and I am sure athletes will be greatly excited to return to such an iconic venue.”

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“We appreciate that the dates are not identical to the ones we had originally planned in Malaysia and these new dates will have an impact on the performance programmes of Para swimmers. However, following the cancellation of Malaysia and the opening of a new bidding process it simply was not feasible to organise a new event for the end of July and early August.”

Delighted with the news, UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said: “We are thrilled that we have been able to step in at very short notice to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. The UK is now a true world leader when it comes to hosting sporting events and our innovative approach to staging competition combined with our passionate fans will ensure this is a fantastic edition of the World Championships.”

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“We are also delighted to be bringing yet another world class sporting event to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the iconic London Aquatics Centre which I am sure the athletes, coaches and spectators will be very excited about.”

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chairman of British Swimming, added: “This is fantastic news for both swimming and the Para sport movement, and I’m delighted that London has been able to step in to host the Championships at such short notice. Whilst there is a lot to do between now and September, I have no doubt that everybody involved will work tirelessly to put on a great show for athletes and fans alike.

“The UK has a great track record of delivering world class sporting events that live long in the memory, and I am confident that the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships will be no different.”

Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Swimming, said:

“We are delighted that we’ve been able to play a part in ensuring the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships still take place and I have no doubt that the UK will once again prove a fitting host. British sports fans have been spoilt over the last few years with the number of major events taking place on our shores, but I know they will relish the fact that there is yet another major event coming to London in September.

“For our swimmers, this is amazing news, as it is imperative for their preparations for Tokyo 2020 that a major international championship took place this year. Having it at home, in London, is just the icing on the cake and I’m confident that our team will make the most of the home crowd support.”

Tracy Glassford, World Para Swimming Manager, said:

“World Para Swimming have worked tirelessly to be able to rearrange the World Championships with as little impact as possible to our swimmers in such an important season. We would like to thank the NPC participating in swimming for their patience and understanding during these last several months.

“We received a tremendous support from the City of London, UK Sport and British Swimming from the moment we started to discuss about the World Championships and we could not be more thankful for their efforts and commitment. The London Aquatics Centre is part of the history of our sport and we could not have a better venue for the World Championships. We look forward to watching great performances from our athletes in the pool and from the British fans in the stands.”

Mike Sharrock, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, said: “London has proven that it’s a fantastic host for Para sport events and I’m delighted that it’s been chosen to welcome athletes for the rescheduled 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.”

“It’s a great opportunity for British fans to watch world-class competition, with the home crowd coming back to that familiar venue from London 2012 to cheer on some of the world’s best athletes as they race to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”

Around 600 swimmers from 60 nations are set to compete in the Championships.

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