21 December 2021; ABU DHABI (UAE) – A spectacular 15th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2021 concluded today, following six days of incredible competition, including four world record performances, at the iconic Etihad Arena, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
More than 900 athletes from 183 National Federations across all five continents competed in 46 events and for an overall prize pool of US$2.8million, the largest prize pool ever in a FINA swimming event. Over 800 volunteers ensured the smooth running of the event throughout the week of competition.
Siobhan Haughey stormed to a world record of 1:50.43 in the women’s 200m Freestyle, Margaret MacNeil set the new short course world standard in the 50m Backstroke and Sweden equalled the 4x50m Medley Relay world record set by the USA in the event’s previous edition.
Wellbrock started the FINA Aquatics Festival by winning the grand finale to the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series. He then did even better at the short course world championships by smashing the men's 1500m Freestyle world record with a 14:06.88 performance over the metric mile.
Haughey, MacNeil, Wellbrock and the Swedish quartet earned an additional US$50,000 for each of their record-setting performances.
Alongside the four World Records, five World Junior Records and 11 Championship Records were set in Abu Dhabi. Twenty-eight countries stand on the event's medal table, the most countries to ever accomplish this feat at a single edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).
FINA’s commitment to innovation under President Captain Husain Al-Musallam was evidenced by the first-ever FINA Aquatics Festival, bringing together athletes from diving, high diving, swimming and open water swimming for the first time ever.
An additional 200 athletes competed in diving, high diving and open water swimming events as part of the FINA Aquatics Festival. The festival saw the culmination of the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series with Kristof Rasovsky (HUN) taking the men’s crown as Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) and Oceane Cassignol tied for the women's overall series championship.
President Al-Musallam reflected on an outstanding FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the inaugural FINA Aquatics Festival, which has taken the sport of aquatics into a new era.
“I want to thank everyone in the aquatics family, in particular the incredible athletes, for ending this challenging year with so many incredible performances during this historic FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi. The world-class Etihad Arena and the beautiful shores of Yas Island have provided the ultimate environment for athletes to set world and national records and provide family-friendly entertainment for thousands of passionate swimming fans,” said President Captain Husain Al-Musallam.
“The participation from athletes, media, volunteers and fans has been fantastic. My sincere thanks to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Organising Committee for their excellent support in helping us deliver an amazing FINA World Swimming Championships and inaugural FINA Aquatics Festival.”
On the sidelines of the FINA World Swimming Championships, FINA hosted a historic Extraordinary Congress that sent a message to the global sports community that FINA has entered into a new era for the benefit of its athletes. This includes the establishment of the Aquatics Integrity Unit, which will be operational from 1 June 2022.
FINA also honoured aquatics stars during an evening ceremony at the FINA World Aquatics Gala.
The 16th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2022 will be held from 17-22 December 2022 at the Aquatics Palace in Kazan, Russia.
The results of the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2021 can be found here.