Even before competitions begin at the World Aquatics Championships – Doha 2024, the event in the Qatari capital is making waves.
Doha 2024 is slated to break records with the highest number of competing athletes and countries in its 21-edition history as Qatar hosts the flagship aquatics competition for the first time from 2 to 18 February 2024.
The records were announced during a joint press conference held by World Aquatics and the World Aquatics Championships – Doha 2024 Local Organising Committee on the eve of the event. More than 2,600 athletes representing 201 countries and the World Aquatics Refugee Team are in Doha to compete in 75 medal events across six aquatic sports. Having qualification spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on offer adds additional excitement and intrigue to the upcoming event.
Four of the sports will see a record number of participating countries, including swimming, and three will see a record number of competing athletes. Among the athletes are USA’s artistic swimming World Champion Bill May; defending high diving world champion, Constantin Popovici from Romania; captain of the reigning women’s water polo world champions, Sabrina van der Sloot of the Netherlands; Canada’s Pan American Games gold medallist springboard diver, Pamela Ware; and USA’s two-time world junior open water swimming champion, Katie Grimes.
The five athletes attended the opening press conference where they expressed their excitement for the World Aquatics Championships and praised the quality of the venues in Doha.
The six aquatic sports will take place at three venues across Doha, including the state-of-the-art Aspire Dome (swimming, water polo, artistic swimming) – the biggest aquatic sports complex in the world.
The Hamad Aquatic Centre (diving) and Old Doha Port (open water swimming, high diving) will also host competitions providing a spectacular backdrop for the world’s best athletes.
Speaking ahead of the World Aquatics Championships, World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam said:
“We are delighted to be in Doha for the World Aquatics Championships. Qatar has proven itself as an excellent host of major sports events and we are very confident that athletes will be provided with the very best conditions to compete. Already we have received positive feedback from athletes who are excited for competitions to get underway. As the first time this region has hosted the World Aquatics Championships, we are also excited by the role the event can play in extending our reach and ensuring everyone can participate, compete in and benefit from aquatic sports."
Doha 2024 Director General Khaleel Al Jabir said: “The World Aquatics Championships – Doha 2024 will be a unique celebration of aquatics sports and Qatar’s rich heritage. It is fitting that these Championships are set to break records for participation reinforcing the importance of this event. We are humbled that more athletes, and more countries, than ever before have opted to compete in these Championships. We have no doubt that they will entertain the thousands of spectators in attendance and inspire the next generation of aquatic athletes.”