In a historic milestone for aquatic sports, men will be eligible to compete in the Olympics' artistic swimming competitions for the first time at the Paris 2024 Games.
Following IOC approval, World Aquatics today announces updates and clarifications to the rules and Olympic Qualification System for aquatic sports at Paris 2024 Games. Key among these was the inclusion of male athletes in artistic swimming.
The change means that, for the first time, both men and women will be eligible to compete in all the aquatic sports included in the Olympic Games programme. Rules enabling the participation of men in team events will also apply to World Aquatics World Championships and Junior World Championships.
On 3 October this year, during the Technical Congress, World Aquatics Rule AS 6.2.1 was modified for artistic swimming. The modified rule specifies the following:
For Olympic Games, team routines shall consist of eight (8) competitors. The total number of competitors entered by each Federation (unless otherwise specified) may not exceed nine (9) competitors, one as reserve. The total number of competitors may include a maximum of two (2) male competitors.
Mixed team entries in artistic swimming first featured in an international competition in 1998 and a dedicated mixed event has been featured in World Aquatics competitions since 2015.
“Aquatics sports are universal, and men have proven themselves to be excellent artistic swimmers. I look forward to seeing this new dimension of artistic swimming being shared with the world in Paris. The inclusion of men in artistic swimming is a great credit to all those who have worked for many years to make this happen,” said World Aquatics President Captain Husain Al-Musallam.
The Olympic Qualification System for diving has been clarified. References to phases one, two and three have been deleted or replaced to account for calendaring, with the prospect of Continental Championships taking place before the World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2022 (to be held in July 2023). The three pathways to qualification, via the World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2022, the Continental Championships and the World Aquatics Championships Doha 2024 remain.
Open Water Swimming
In open water swimming, a clarification has also been issued for those National Olympic Committees (NOCs) wishing to enter pool athletes in the Marathon Swimming event. These athletes must have achieved an Olympic Qualification Time in either the 800m or 1500m freestyle (for both genders). These athletes must also have swum in either the 800m or 1500m freestyle at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 prior to competing in the Marathon Swimming event there. All entries must comply with team limits whereby no more than two athletes per event of the same gender are from the same NOC.
For the Olympic Qualification System for swimming at Paris 2024, a clarification has also been made. As previously indicated, three (3) NOCs per relay event will qualify for the corresponding relay event at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 based on the final results achieved by their respective World Aquatics member federations at the World Aquatics Championships 2022 in Fukuoka.
The remaining 13 teams for each relay event will qualify on the basis of the fastest times from the preliminaries and finals performances of both the World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2022 and the World Aquatics Championships Doha 2024.
Aquatics Sports at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
As was the case at Tokyo 2020, aquatics sports at Paris 2024 will offer the most medal opportunities for athletes at the Olympic Games.
Swimming will take place at Paris La Défense Arena, where a temporary pool will be used to enable as many as 17,000 spectators per session to experience the racing, as well as the water polo finals.
Diving, artistic swimming and the preliminary water polo games will take place at the new Aquatics Centre, one of only two sports venues being built for the Olympic Games and due to open in 2023. The Aquatics Centre will ensure a long-term boost to aquatic sports in Seine-Saint-Denis, the area to the North and West of Paris that will also be home to the Olympic Village. Seine-Saint-Denis is currently the French department that is least well-served in terms of swimming pool provision.
Open water swimming will take place in the Seine, the river running through the heart of Paris and providing an iconic experience for athletes, spectators and worldwide audiences alike.