FINA, the global governing body for aquatic sports, has today (Friday) appointed the Australian city of Melbourne as the new host of this year’s World Swimming Championships (25m).

The event will now take place at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre from December 13-18 after the hosting rights were stripped from the Russian city of Kazan in March.

The World Swimming Championships (25m) is one of a number of major sporting events that Russia has lost hosting rights to following its invasion of Ukraine. The Championships had been due to take place from December 17-22 at Kazan’s Aquatics Palace.

However, Melbourne, and Australia as a whole, will now host the Championships for the first time. While Melbourne has never staged the 25m Championships, the city has played host to many major aquatics events, including the World Championships in 2007 and multiple Swimming World Cups. Other FINA events in Australia have been the 1991 and 1998 World Championships, which were both held in Perth.

Set on the shores of Albert Park Lake, Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre will welcome more than 1,000 athletes from over 180 countries. “FINA is delighted that the proud swimming nation of Australia will host the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) for the first time,” said FINA president Husain Al-Musallam.

“Australia has a great swimming tradition and we’re looking forward to coming back to Melbourne. I am sure this will be another highly successful FINA event that provides the world’s best short course swimmers with the environment to perform at their very best. We are incredibly grateful to our hosts for stepping forward to host this prestigious meet.”

Image: FINA