Despite a published report without a reference to a source, it was stated that the supposed "shiny suits" revenue pouring back into the sport did nothing to enhance this past FINA World Championships. This statement was easy to disprove.
According to the FINA site, the games were a stunning success for FINA and had more participants competing than any other FINA championship.
Participation generally means sponsorship and sponsored they were. About 16% more athletes attended than they did in Australia. In two years we will have our answer as to the impact of tech suits on our sport and and I suspect anemic growth.
From the FINA website:
With 10 days for the start of the 13th FINA World Championships, to be held in Rome (ITA) from July 17-August 2, 2009 it is confirmed that this edition of the competition will be highlighted by a record of participation.
According to the last figures received, 2556 athletes from 185 countries will be present at the Foro Italico venue (facilities for Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming) and Ostia Beach (Open Water Swimming).
By disciplines, the numbers are the following:
- SWIMMING – 1470 athletes from 164 countries
- DIVING – 200 athletes from 43 countries
- WATER POLO – 416 athletes from 21 countries
- SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING – 269 athletes from 41 countries
- OPEN WATER SWIMMING – 152 athletes from 39 countries
The previous record of participation was established in the previous edition of these championships, in 2007 in Melbourne (AUS). In Australia, 2158 athletes from 167 nations took part in the competition.
Very nicely done to both FINA & Italy!