FINA World Swimming Championships 2022: When and where are the biennial swimming and aquatic sports championships, what's the prize money and how to watch in the UK?

A combination of pandemic delays, cancellations and Olympic scheduling has meant that there will be a special ‘extraordinary edition’ of the biggest competition in swimming.

Originally the FINA World Championships were set to take place in Japan in 2021, two years after the 2019 South Korean Games, but were delayed first to accomodate the Olympic Games and then again due to pandemic-related issues.

So as to not leave a four year gap, it was announced that a special event would take place this year – meaning that there will be a FINA World Championships in four consecutive years for the first time ever.

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Next year will see the long-awaited Japanese event, followed a year-delayed 2024 championship in Qatar, and then returning to its usual biennial status starting in 2025 in Russia.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event.

When are the 2022 FINA World Championships?

The Championships will take place from June 18 – July 3.

Where are the World Championships being held?

Britain's Olympic champion Adam Peaty will not be at this year's World Championships due to injury.Britain's Olympic champion Adam Peaty will not be at this year's World Championships due to injury.
Britain's Olympic champion Adam Peaty will not be at this year's World Championships due to injury.

The Championships will be held across a number of venues in Hungary.

The Danube Arena will host the swimming and diving events, while the open water swimming will be held at Lake Lupa.

Meanwhile the Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium will host artistic swimming and water polo, with water polo also taking place at the Debrecen Swimming Pool, the Szeged Swimming Pool, and in Sopron.

What sports are included?

There will be a total of 74 events spread across five disciplines – swimming, open water swimming, artistic swimming, diving and water polo.

Who will be competing?

Athletes from 207 FINA members are eligible to compete, two less than in 2019 due to FINA banning all Russians and Belarusians from competing at the championships following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In 2019 competitors from 192 countries took part – an all-time record.

Who are the most successful countries and athletes at the Championships?

The United States tops the all-time medal table with 622 medals, including 268 golds, followed by China with 326 (146 gold), Russia with 240 (105 gold), Australia with 261 (89 gold), and East Germany with 122 (51 gold).

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Individually, US swimmer Michael Phelps has won most medals with 33, including 26 golds, followed by Russian synchronised swimmer with 21 medals (all gold), fellow Russian synchronised swimmer Natalia Ishchenko with 21 medals (19 gold), and American swimmer Ryan Lochte with 27 medals (18 gold).

Who are Britain’s best hopes?

Britain has so far announced a 23-strong team to compete in the pool at the first major international meet since a historic Olympic Games performance last year.

Seven of Britain's Olympic champions from nine months ago - Anna Hopkin, Tom Dean, Kathleen Dawson, James Guy, Freya Anderson, Duncan Scott and Matt Richards – will be appearing.

James Wilby and Luke Greenbank, who also won medals at the Olympics as well as being crowned world champions at the last World Championships in Gwangju three years ago, are also selected to compete at the iconic Danube Arena.

But Adam Peaty has been ruled out after fracturing a bone in his foot.

How much is the prize money?

There will be a total prize pot of $5,720,000, including a bonus of $50,000 for anybosy who sets a new world record in an individual swimming event – the highest award amount ever for a FINA World Championships.

For all the individual events, and the duet synchronised swimming, the gold medal winners will receive $20,000, with the silver medallists getting $10,000, and the bronze medallists $5,000.

In water polo the top three teams will receive $80,000, $70,000 and $60,000 respectively.

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And the in the team and free synchronised swimming events, the podium placed teams will win $50,000. $40,000 and $30,000.

How can I watch in the UK?

It’s expected that the BBC will provide extensive coverage of the 2022 Championships but a full schedule has yet to be published.

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