Budapest, Hungary – Today at a press conference in Budapest, Hungary, the Organising Committee for the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships, Gwangju South Korea, revealed their plans and ambitions for the 2019 Championships, alongside the official launch of their emblem, mascot and website.

The 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships will take place in the South Korean city from July 12 to August 11, 2019, featuring both the FINA World Championships and the World Masters Championships. Under the slogan, ‘Dive into Peace’, Gwangju 2019 has promised to capitalise on its proud history as a city of democracy, human rights and peace, to create a unifying Championships that promotes positive values across the world. 

Located in the South West of the country, and easily-accessible from the capital Seoul, Gwangju has a population of approximately 1.5 million people. With 30% of these inhabitants being students, Gwangju is a young, vibrant, modern city. The city is a hub for Asian culture, combining peaceful, natural beauty with the energy and buzz of the city centre, and aims to cater for all types of visitors.

Gwangju is also a sports loving city, having previously played host to FIFA World Cup matches in 2002 and, more recently, the Summer Universiade (World University Games) in 2015. Such hosting experience leaves the city well-placed to successfully host the FINA World Championships in 2019. For example, the Aquatics Centre at the city’s Nambu University will use many of the same facilities used for the Universiade, with the nearby Janseong lake similarly being utilised.

Excitingly, Gwangu 2019 have used the opportunity of the Budapest 2017 Championships to officially launch their new emblem and mascots. The emblem has been designed to symbolize ‘Waves of Peace’, and expresses the beautiful challenges that will face athletes arriving to Gwangju. The mascots for the Championships are otters, a flagship species of the neighbouring Mt. Mudeungsan that have returned to the Yeongsangang River of Gwangju. The otters symbolise swimming freely as well the swimmers’ passion for challenge.

The new website perfectly complements these announcements, providing a wealth of information about the city, the plans for Gwangju 2019, and the organisational structure behind the Championships. For more information, please visit:

Along with the announcements, Cho Young-Teck, Secretary-General and Vice President of the Organising Committee for Gwangju 2019, said: "The 2019 World Championships are a great opportunity to display the virtues for which Gwangju stands, democracy, human rights and peace. They also help earn a reputation as a city of sports and culture. The national government, the city of Gwangju and the Organising Committee, as well as the citizens of Gwangju, are all supportive of the World Championships, and we look forward to making them a great success."

FINA President, Julio Maglione, further commented saying “We are very pleased with the progress of Gwangju in preparation for the 2019 World Championships. It is important for FINA to have a strong partner who is committed and dedicated to hosting an exceptional Championships, and we are certain that Gwangju will be a great success.”