Olga Kamardina, FINA Correspondent in Samorin

Teams arrive in Samorin for the inaugural FINA World Youth Artistic Swimming Championships

The 1st FINA World Youth Artistic Swimming Championships is full ready to get launched in Samorin, this Wednesday, on August, 28. The 5 days event will offer the unprecedented opportunity for the sport’s finest rising stars and may even propel some of them towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A new excellent opportunity

On the eve of the Artistic Swimming’s first ever edition of the Youth Worlds, FINA Artistic Swimming Committee Chairwoman Lisa Schott has revealed her excitement at the event’s significant potential.

“These Youth Worlds are a first and have been created with the aim of developing junior athletes and giving them space to dream and hope,” - she said. - It is an excellent opportunity for the rising athletes to gain experience on the world stage. Some of them will be eligible for senior events next year and might even qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. We hope that this historical meet will inspire the next generations of artistic swimmers to keep on swimming and one day attended FINA World Championships in the Senior category. Ona Carbonell is coming to give a motivational talk on 26 August. FINA is staging a seminar for the coaches and judges after the meet, where top experts of the field from Russia, China, Ukraine will be sharing their knowledge on 2 September!”

It goes without saying, that the youth event is truly a World Championships with the artistic swimmers, aged 13 – 15 (born 2004-2006), from 35 nations, including traditional powerhouses Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Italy alongside lesser known lights. A total of 332 performers will chase individual glory in solo, highlighting the impressive stats of the team event - 27, duets – 32 and mixed duets – 7. 

Cream will come at the week-end

The program is standard and rather well-packed. A motivation talk with the 2-time Olympic medalist, World and European champion Ona Carbonell will kick-off the social agenda of Samorin-2019 on 26 August, followed by the Team Managers Meeting, Judges Meeting, and Opening Ceremony on 27 August. The next two very busy days will challenge contestants in 4 disciplines, whose daunting task will be to pass through preliminaries in solo, team, duets and free combination. The midway mark on 30 August will be highlighted by a “survival test” with the Figure Session, where the luck goes hand in hand with perfection and the thirst for excellence will drive participants show their best completing 4 random-selected Figures. The cream shall come at the week-end as medals in all 5 events will be played.

Participants will perform in the 50m open swimming-pool of the majestic X-Bionic Sphere Sport Complex of the Slovak Olympic Training Center. Build in 2014, it is now stretching for 1,000,000 sq.m, providing professional ground for 27 Olympic disciplines to come along with the artistic swimming. They surely know how to handle competitions here, having hosted a number of FINA competitions in the past, and therefore were given the chance to sway history laying the first brick for the FINA signature new event.

The Heron – a Figure, a Mascot and a Bird

The town of Samorin, hosting the inaugural FINA World Youth Artistic Swimming Championships, is located in the south of Slovakia on Žitný island, the largest river island in Europe also known as the biggest reservoir of drinking water. The legendary waters of the Danube reach Samorin forming up some favorable conditions for Herons, which is also a distinctive Figure in our sport.

“The name of the mascot for the FINA World Youth Artistic Swimming Championships-2019 is Rudy, - comments Jana McDonnell, head of the Local Organising Committee. – It can be used either for boys or for girls, as artistic swimming is open for both genders. It is a short and friendly form of the name “Rudolf” which means fame and ability to achieve anything, which reflects the ambition of the young athletes who are trying to establish themselves in this demanding sport.

I’m delighted to welcome all participants and spectators of the inaugural FINA World Youth Artistic Swimming Championships on the hospitable land of Slovakia,” – she adds. “We will do utmost to provide our guests with a comfortable environment and to create great memories for all. We hope that the upcoming championships will turn out to be an unforgettable experience for all the rising artistic swimmers competing in Samorin.”

Follow all the action at FINAtv  website and visit competition's page for more information.

Competition schedule

Monday, August, 26
20:30 Motivation talk with Ona Carbonell

Tuesday, August, 27
20:30 Opening ceremony

Wednesday, August, 28
10.00 – 13.00 Solo Preliminaries
16.00 – 19.00 Team Preliminaries

Thursday, August, 29
10.00 – 13.15 Duet Preliminaries
16.00 – 18.15 Free Combination Preliminaries

Friday, August, 30
10.00 – 16.00 Figure Session

Saturday, August, 31
10.00 – 11.15 Solo Final
14.00 – 14.45 Mixed Duet Final
17.00 – 18.45 Free Combination Final

Sunday, September, 1
10.00 – 11.30 Duet Final
14.00 – 15.45 Team Final
16.00 Awarding Ceremony
17.00 Gala