Gwangju, June 26th, 2019 – The final countdown is on for the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships. In two weeks, close to 3,000 athletes representing 193 nations will be competing in Gwangju and Yeosu – a record number of participants. The organising committee is more than ready to welcome the Aquatics family with all swimming pools already been filled out and the Athletes Village officially opening on July 5th.

Swimming Pools are filled out

The FINA Facilities Committee led by Joaquin Pujol, made final inspections of all the swimming pools with regards to the design and operational standards. All swimming pools met FINA requirements (incl. pool length and depth) and were officially approved earlier this week.

Mrytha pools, the official supplier, equipped all the installations. This includes two artistic pools (competition and warm up), two water polo pools (competition and warm up) and one diving pool – all filled out and ready to welcome the best athletes from around the world.

Athletes village opens July 5th

Asian hospitality is renowned internationally, and Gwangju is no exception to this rule. It is Gwangju 2019 mission to provide the athletes with the highest standards and best service so that they feel at home and well rested before each of their competition.

The Athletes’ village has been ingeniously planned. The team of experts have worked tirelessly in developing the most comfortable, peaceful and pleasant environment to live in while competing. It will open its doors on July 5th.

The Athletes’ village is perfectly located, within 30 minutes-drive from each of the venues in Gwangju, with shuttle buses in place for the athletes to be driven back and forth efficiently and effortlessly. Moreover, numerous amenities will be available on site. This includes medical service, bank, convenience store, post office, fitness room and beauty salon.

For the first time in the history of the FINA World Championships, the Athletes’ village will be divided into three separate zones, set to welcome the aquatic elite athletes as well as the officials and the international media covering the championships.

Opening and closing ceremony highlights

The Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships will officially kick-off on July 12th at 8pm with the Opening Ceremony, held at Gwangju Women's University Universiade Gymnasium. The theme of the ceremony will be “Light of Water”, a representation of the world’s waters rising to form a single wave in the spirit of democracy and peace at the 5.18 Democracy Square fountain, an important symbol for the democratisation movement. Over 700 cast members will perform and stereoscopic images with special effects will reflect South Korea’s technological innovativeness and will guarantee a breath-taking show.

As for every Championships, celebrations will come to an end with the Closing Ceremony which will take place on July 28th at 5 pm at the Arts Theatre of Asia Culture Center, where cultural representations will be held under the theme of “Beautiful Circulation”. The ceremony will take place in an imaginary space reflecting Mureungdowon (meaning paradise) in Seongsanbyulgok – an essay written by Jeongcheol in the early Chosun Dynasty and which describes the beautiful sceneries of four seasons in the South Jeolla Province. The show will include cultural arts of the South Jeolla Province combining the stream of water and harmonious circulation of life. After the cultural performance, around 10:30 pm, the FINA flag will be handed over to Fukuoka, Japan at the Main Venue once all final competition and awards ceremonies have finished.


Youngsuk CHOI,

Media Support team,

Organizing Committee of the 18th FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019


About FINA World Championships

The 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju will be the 18th in the history of the event. Gwangju will be the third Asian host in history, following Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001 and Shanghai, China, in 2011.

Belgrade, the Serbian capital, held the first competition in 1973 in the-then Yugoslavia, and the Championships have been conducted in the odd years since the 9th Championships in Fukuoka in 2001.

Since the 2015 Kazan World Championships, competitions for active professional swimmers have been held along with the Masters Championships.

The FINA World Championships have established themselves as the most prestigious events supported by FINA, with world-class cities competitively bidding for the rights to host.

Such prestige is demonstrated by the outstanding cities that have held FINA World Championships in the past 10 years. For example, Melbourne, Australia (2007), Rome, Italy (2009), Shanghai, China 2011) and Barcelona, Spain (2003 and 2013) have all recently organised FINA World Championships.

Gwangju, Korea, has been named as the next host of the FINA World Championships in 2019. The moto of the 18th edition ‘Dive into Peace’, shows Gwangju’s engagement in creating a unifying Championships that promotes positive values across the world.

About Gwangju

Located in the South West of Korea, and easily-accessible from the capital city of Seoul, Gwangju has a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

Built upon a 1,000 year history and tradition, Gwangju is known for as a hub for Asian culture. It combines peaceful, natural beauty with the energy and buzz of the city centre, aiming to cater for all types of visitors.

Gwangju is the city of democracy, human rights and peace. The city has long acted like a beacon of light consolidating peace and democracy in Korea.

Having SAMSUNG, KIA Motors and Korea Electric Power Corporation, Gwangju is also a leading city in the 4th industrial revolution focusing its strength on smart city solutions and electric vehicles.