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  • Gwangju 2019 appeals to DPR Korea participation


    Today marks the 50 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the 18th FINA World Championships. With the North Korean athletes yet to register for the World Championships, the Gwangju 2019 Organising Committee together with FINA made a joint declaration to invite the North Korean team, cheering squad and performance groups to participate to the event and festivities around it.

    Leading the Gwangju team, the Mayor of the city Lee Yongsup considers the FINA World Championships as a milestone for Gwangju and for the entire Korean nation. Under the motto “Dive into Peace”, this event illustrates Korea’s strong commitment to peace.

    Left: Mayor of the City of Gwangju Mr. Lee / Right: FINA Executive Director Mr. Cornel Marculescu

    During a press conference organised today, Mr. Lee mentioned: “As President of the Organising Committee, I would like to express the hope of 1.5 million citizens from the city of Gwangju. They are sincerely expecting for North Korea’s participation in the World Championships. North Korea presence is crucial for the success of this event as the motto of the competition is ‘Dive into Peace’. We would like to emphasise this message to the world. Last February, ministers from the two countries met with the IOC in Lausanne and this issue was discussed, but up to now we don’t have any answer from the North Korean side”.

    Although there is an official registration deadline, FINA keeps exchanging correspondence with National Federation of North Korea to guarantee their presence in the FINA World Championships. Mr. Cornel Marculescu, FINA Executive Director concluded: “This is an ongoing process, and we are confident that over 190 nations will be present in Gwangju”.

    The 18th FINA World Championships, to be held from July 12-28, will be attended by athletes from over 190 nations. It will display a total of 76 medal events in the six aquatic disciplines – swimming, water polo, diving, open water swimming, artistic swimming and high diving.

    The joint declaration can be found here.


    Youngsuk CHOI,

    Media Support team,

    Organizing Committee of the 18th FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019


    About FINA World Championships

    The 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju will be the 18th in the history of the event. Gwangju will be the third Asian host in history, following Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001 and Shanghai, China, in 2011.

    Belgrade, the Serbian capital, held the first competition in 1973 in the-then Yugoslavia, and the Championships have been conducted in the odd years since the 9th Championships in Fukuoka in 2001.

    Since the 2015 Kazan World Championships, competitions for active professional swimmers have been held along with the Masters Championships.

    The FINA World Championships have established themselves as the most prestigious events supported by FINA, with world-class cities competitively bidding for the rights to host.

    Such prestige is demonstrated by the outstanding cities that have held FINA World Championships in the past 10 years. For example, Melbourne, Australia (2007), Rome, Italy (2009), Shanghai, China 2011) and Barcelona, Spain (2003 and 2013) have all recently organised FINA World Championships.

    Gwangju, Korea, has been named as the next host of the FINA World Championships in 2019. The moto of the 18th edition ‘Dive into Peace’, shows Gwangju’s engagement in creating a unifying Championships that promotes positive values across the world.

    About Gwangju

    Located in the South West of Korea, and easily-accessible from the capital city of Seoul, Gwangju has a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

    Built upon a 1,000 year history and tradition, Gwangju is known for as a hub for Asian culture. It combines peaceful, natural beauty with the energy and buzz of the city centre, aiming to cater for all types of visitors.

    Gwangju is the city of democracy, human rights and peace. The city has long acted like a beacon of light consolidating peace and democracy in Korea.

    Having SAMSUNG, KIA Motors and Korea Electric Power Corporation, Gwangju is also a leading city in the 4th industrial revolution focusing its strength on smart city soutions and electric vehicles.