World Aquatics Championships set to kick off in Gwangju
July 11, 2019
Global Korean Post
ByXu Aiying and Kim Minji
The 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships is set to kick off its 17-day run in the southwestern city of Gwangju.
The opening ceremony on July 12 will begin at 8:20 p.m. at Universiade Gymnasium of Kwangju Women’s University and May 18 Democracy Square under the slogan “Dive into Peace.”
To deliver a message stressing peace and prosperity, water from about 100 countries will be gathered in a fountain at the square during the ceremony.
“The three keywords of the opening ceremony are water, the spirit of democracy, human rights, and peace, and Gwangju’s culture and art,” said Yoon Jung-sub, general manager of the event’s opening and closing ceremonies, adding, “This means water from all over the world will meet the light of Gwangju and resolve issues on earth such as environmental pollution.”
This year’s event will see 7,200 athletes from 193 countries, a record high for the tournament. They will compete for 76 gold medals in six events: swimming, diving, high diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming, and water polo. Korea has 82 athletes in 70 events.
The biennial event is considered one of the world’s top sports competitions along with the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup soccer finals and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships. Gwangju is the third Asian city to host the FINA event, following Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001 and Shanghai, China, in 2011.