The world’s best young water polo athletes will be competing internationally once again in 2024, as World Aquatics grants hosting rights to four cities across the world for the World Aquatics U18 and U16 Water Polo Championships.
Kicking off the round of tournaments, the World Aquatics Men’s U16 Water Polo Championships 2024 will be held at the National Pool Complex, Triq Maria Theresa Spinelli in Gzira, Malta from 18-24 June 2024. The state-of-the-art National Pool Complex is the main venue for competitive aquatic sports in Malta and has played host to several national water polo leagues, international water polo tournaments and swim meets.
“Hosting the Men’s U16 Water Polo Championships in Malta could be a unique and vibrant experience, combining the rich cultural backdrop of the island with the excitement of international competition. The blend of historical sites, picturesque landscapes, and passionate local support could create a memorable and distinct atmosphere for athletes and spectators alike,” said Karl Izzo, Aquatic Sports Association of Malta.
“This competition not only showcases the sport's global prominence but also holds special importance for Malta, emphasising its role as a host and fostering international friendships,” added President Izzo. “The Aquatic Sports Association of Malta stands at the forefront, playing a pivotal role in organising and promoting this prestigious event, further elevating Malta's standing in the aquatic sports community. It is an honour for myself in my first year as President and for ASA Malta to be chosen and entrusted by World Aquatics to host this World Championship, the biggest-ever aquatic event in Malta.”
Quickly following the men’s championships, the World Aquatics Women’s U16 Water Polo Championships 2024 will be held at Manisa Olympic Swimming Pool in Manisa, Türkiye from 28 June - 4 July 2024. This impressive venue is no stranger to hosting international events, having been the setting for the U17 Women’s European Championships in 2022.
“On behalf of the Turkish Water Polo Federation, I sincerely invite you all to the 2nd World U16 Women’s Water Polo Championship 2024 in Manisa, Türkiye,” said Mete Erol, President of the Türkiye Water Polo Federation. “Right after organizing very successful two events in 2023, European U17 Women Water Polo Championship and the European U17 Men Water Polo Championship, we are ready and eager to do our best again to make you feel comfortable while enjoying the high-level competition of our valuable sport.”
The World Aquatics Men’s U18 Water Polo Championships 2024 will be held at the Olympic Park Natatorium in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 2-8 July 2024. The Olympic Park Natatorium was the location of the swimming events during the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, so will no doubt provide a fantastic environment for the competition next year.
"We welcome with great satisfaction the 2024 World Youth Water Polo Championship, which once again places Argentina and our Aquatic Sports Confederation at the first level of world sport, said Sergio Antonini, President of the Confederación Argentina de Deportes Acuáticos. “We thank World Aquatics for their trust, which commits us to organizing it with excellence.
“Buenos Aires will happily wait for the 20 best teams in the world!"
Later in the summer, the World Aquatics Women’s U18 Water Polo Championships 2024 will be held in China from 17-24 August 2024. The host venue will be confirmed at a later date.
“Hosting this event can build a platform for water polo teams from various countries to strengthen international exchanges, enhance the friendship of the younger generation of players, and allow more Chinese teenagers to know and love water polo, thereby further improving the competitive level of Chinese water polo and contributing more to the development of world water polo sport,” said Chen Yingbiao, President of the Chinese Rugby Football Association.
On the hosting decisions, Tamas Molnar, the World Aquatics Water Polo Technical Committee Chair, 3-time Olympic champion and one-time World Champion for Hungary, expressed his excitement over the upcoming competitions and the importance of their respective locations.
“We place a great focus on ensuring that our youth athletes have the opportunity to experience high-level competition and to compete on the international stage. The four chosen host countries for our 2024 U16 and U18 World Championships have excellent experience in organising and hosting major international competitions and will undoubtedly provide spectacular settings for our young players to showcase their talent. The next year promises to be very exciting.”