ISTANBUL – The city of Windsor, Ont., will host the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2016 after being awarded the right on the eve of this year’s event in Istanbul.
“I have the pleasure to announce that today the FINA Bureau awarded the organization of the event of 2016 to the city of Windsor in Canada,” FINA President Julio Maglione said at a press conference Tuesday at the Sinan Erdem Arena.
“We congratulate the city of Windsor, the Aquatic Federation of Canada, and Swimming Canada,” he added. “I am sure that we will have a great FINA world short course championship in 2016.”
Windsor, in partnership with neighbouring Detroit, was up against Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates to host the event in 2016. Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis made a presentation to the board in the morning, showcasing how the joint bid would work and the outstanding facilities in the area.
“The fact that we’re moving forward and Detroit is going to be helping us get the region ready to welcome the world is going to be an exciting and unique aspect of the bid, and a unique and exciting aspect of our hosting the FINA world championships in 2016,” Francis said. “People that come will be able to experience this massive and significant event with one destination against the backdrop of two countries.”
Canada has 13 swimmers competing at the 11th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), which open Wednesday in Istanbul. Maglione also announced Tuesday that this year’s event has a record 1,000 athletes representing 162 countries.
“You can see by the record numbers in attendance and countries, this is where everybody wants to be. This is where world records are shattered,” Francis said.
Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine was also on hand for the morning presentation and the announcement.
“What a great day today for us in Canada,” Lafontaine said. “I think hosting the world short course in Windsor will be a brilliant opportunity for us to not just showcase Canada and showcase Windsor, but also to inspire the next generation.”