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The Finswimming World Championships is the peak international event for the underwater sport of finswimming. These are conducted on behalf of the sport's governing body, Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) by an affiliated national federation.
Underwater sports is a group of competitive sports using one or a combination of the following underwater diving techniques - breath-hold, snorkelling or scuba including the use of equipment such as diving masks and fins. These sports are conducted in the natural environment at sites such as open water and sheltered or confined water such as lakes and in artificial aquatic environments such as swimming pools. Underwater sports include the following - aquathlon, finswimming, freediving, spearfishing, sport diving, underwater football, underwater hockey, underwater ice hockey, underwater orienteering, underwater photography, underwater rugby, underwater target shooting and underwater video.
Finswimming is an underwater sport consisting of four techniques involving swimming with the use of fins either on the water's surface using a snorkel with either monofins or bifins or underwater with monofin either by holding one's breath or using open circuit scuba diving equipment. Events exist over distances similar to swimming competitions for both swimming pool and open water venues. Competition at world and continental level is organised by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS). The sport's first world championship was held in 1976. It also has been featured at the World Games as a trend sport since 1981 and was demonstrated at the 2015 European Games in June 2015.
Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is an international federation that represents underwater activities in underwater sport and underwater sciences, and oversees an international system of recreational snorkel and scuba diver training and recognition. It is also known by its English name, the World Underwater Federation, and its Spanish name, Confederacion Mundial De Actividades Subacuaticas. Its foundation in Monaco during January 1959 makes it one of the world's oldest underwater diving organisations.
The championship is split into two events on the basis of age for both male and female swimmers - seniors (i.e. 18 years and older) and juniors (i.e. 12 to 17 years old).The senior championship was first held in 1976 while the junior championship was first held in 1989. From 1976 to 1990, the senior championships were held every four years, except for the championship held in Moscow during 1982, and from 1990 to 2006 it was held every two years. The junior championship has been held every two years from 1993, with the exception of the years 2005 and 2006. As of 2007, the championships have been held every two years, with the senior age group event being held in the odd years starting with 2007, while the junior age group event is held in even years starting with 2008.
A world championship is conducted at two sites within a geographical locality - one being an olympic-size swimming pool (also known as a long course pool) and the other being an open water site suitable for long distance finswimming.
An Olympic-size swimming pool conforms to regulated dimensions, large enough for international competition. This type of swimming pool is used in the Olympic Games, where the race course is 50 metres (164.0 ft) in length, typically referred to as "long course", distinguishing it from "short course" which applies to competitions in pools that are 25 metres (82.0 ft) in length. If touch panels are used in competition, then the distance between touch panels should be either 25 or 50 metres to qualify for FINA recognition. This means that Olympic pools are generally oversized, to accommodate touch panels used in competition.
The pool competition is carried out over five days with qualifying heats held in the morning and finals held in the afternoon. Races are conducted in the following techniques and distances for both male and female swimmers:
As of 2014, the long distance competition is held over one day for senior and juniors swimmers with the following schedule: Morning - 4 x 2 km mixed team relay (2 men and 2 women) and Afternoon - 6 km individual swim. National federations may register a maximum of one relay team and a maximum of four individuals for the 6 km race. Long distance swimming is only open to SF and BF techniques.
|Year||Date||Championship||Location event||# Athletes||# Events|
|1976||August 30 – September 5||1st Finswimming World Championships||11(m), 10(w)|
|1980||August 5 – 10||2nd Finswimming World Championships||11(m), 10(w)|
|1982||August 24 – 29||3rd Finswimming World Championships||10(m), 10(w)|
|1986||August 3 – 10||4th Finswimming World Championships||11(m), 10(w)|
|1990||August 28 – September 2||5th Finswimming World Championships||11(m), 11(w)|
|1992||August 17 – 24||6th Finswimming World Championships||11(m), 11(w)|
|1994||October 24 – 31||7th Finswimming World Championships||12(m), 12(w)|
|1996||August 18 – 25||8th Finswimming World Championships||12(m), 12(w)|
|1998||August 29 – September 6||9th Finswimming World Championships||12(m), 12(w)|
|2000||October 1 – 09||10th Finswimming World Championships||12(m), 12(w)|
|2002||September 7 – 16||11th Finswimming World Championships||12(m), 12(w)|
|2004||October 21 – 29||12th Finswimming World Championships||12(m), 12(w)|
|2006||July 2 – 12||13th Finswimming World Championships||15(m), 15(w)|
|2007||July 27 – August 6||14th Finswimming World Championships||18(m), 18(w)|
|2009||August 20 – 30||15th Finswimming World Championships||212||18(m), 18(w)|
|2011||July 28 – August 7||16th Finswimming World Championships||350||18(m), 18(w)|
|2013||August 11 – 21||17th Finswimming World Championships||18(m), 18(w)|
|2015||July 15 – 22||18th Finswimming World Championships||15(m), 15(w), 1 (mixed)|
|2016||June 23 – 28||19th Finswimming World Championships||15(m), 15(w), 1 (mixed)|
|2018||June 14 – 21||20th Finswimming World Championships||16(m), 16(w), 3 (mixed)|
|2020||July||21st Finswimming World Championships|
|Year||Date||Championship||Location event||# Athletes||# Events|
|1989||July 16 – 18||1st Finswimming Junior World Championship|
|1993||September 2 – 5||2nd Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|1995||July 24 – 30||3rd Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|1997||August 18 – 24||4th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|1999||August 4– 8||5th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2001||July 23 – 30||6th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2003||August 30 – September 7||7th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2005||August 1 – 8||8th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2006||July 24 – August 2||9th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2008||July 2 – 12||10th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2010||July 5 – 12||11th Finswimming Junior World Championships||200||23 nations|
|2012||July 16 – 22||12th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2014||June 25 – July 1||13th Finswimming Junior World Championships||198||24 nations|
|2016||July 4 – 11||14th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2017||July 31 – August 7||15th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
|2019||July 28 – August 4||16th Finswimming Junior World Championships|
CMAS * SCUBA Diver, CMAS one-star Scuba diver, or just CMAS * is an entry level diving certification for recreational SCUBA issued by Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS), enabling divers to undertake accompanied no-decompression dives to a maximum depth of twenty meters. CMAS describes that a One Star Diver shall be deemed "to have sufficient knowledge, skill and experience to procure air, equipment, and other diving services and to plan, conduct, and log open-water dives that do not require mandatory in-water decompression stops, without the supervision of a CMAS Instructor or CMAS Dive Leader, when properly equipped and accompanied by another certified diver of at least the same level, provided the diving activities undertaken, the diving conditions and the diving area are similar, equal or better to those in which training was received".
Finswimming has featured as a trend sport at the World Games since the inaugural 1981 World Games held in Santa Clara, California.
The 16th Finswimming World Championships were held at 30 July –6 August 2011 in Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary at the Gyarmati Dezső Sportuszoda.
Aquathlon is an underwater sport where two competitors wearing masks and fins wrestle underwater in an attempt to remove a ribbon from each other's ankle band in order to win the bout. The "combat" takes place in a 5-metre (16 ft) square ring within a swimming pool, and is made up of three 30-second rounds, with a fourth round played in the event of a tie. The sport originated during the 1980s in the former USSR and was first played at international level in 1993. It was recognised by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) in 2008.
The Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) is the governing body for underwater sports in Australia.
Sport diving is an underwater sport that uses recreational open circuit scuba diving equipment and consists of a set of individual and team events conducted in a swimming pool that test the competitors' competency in recreational scuba diving techniques. The sport was developed in Spain during the late 1990s and is currently played mainly in Europe. It is known as Plongée Sportive en Piscine in French and as Buceo De Competición in Spanish.
Underwater Target Shooting is an underwater sport/shooting sport that tests a competitors’ ability to accurately use a speargun via a set of individual and team events conducted in a swimming pool using free diving or Apnoea technique. The sport was developed in France during the early 1980s and is currently practiced mainly in Europe. It is known as Tir sur cible subaquatique in French and as Tiro al Blanco Subacuático in Spanish.
Underwater orienteering is an underwater sport that uses recreational open circuit scuba diving equipment and consists of a set of individual and team events conducted in both sheltered and open water that test the competitors competency in underwater navigation. The competition is principally concerned with the effectiveness of navigation technique used by competitors to swim an underwater course following a route marked on a map prepared by the competition organisers, a compass and a counter meter to measure the distance covered. The sport was developed in the Soviet Union during the late 1950s and is currently played mainly in Europe. It is known as Orientation Sub in French and as La Orientación Subacuática in Spanish. Historically, the sport has also been known as Technical Disciplines.
The Underwater Orienteering World Championships is the peak international event for the underwater sport of underwater orienteering. The event is conducted on behalf of the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) by an affiliated national federation. The championships was first held in 1973. Currently, it is held every 2 years on years ending with an odd number.
Underwater photography is a scuba-based underwater sport governed by Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) where teams of competitors using digital underwater camera systems all dive at the same saltwater ocean sites at the same time over a two-day period. The submitted digital images are then assessed and ranked by a jury using a maximum of five photographic categories as well as an overall score. The sport was developed prior to 1985 as a photographic film-based event and is currently mainly practised in non-English speaking countries.
The Underwater Photography World Championships is the peak international event for the underwater sport of underwater photography. The event is conducted on behalf of the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) by an affiliated national federation. The championships was first held in 1985. Two variants of the championship are offered. The first is held at an open water site and has been conducted on 16 occasions as of november 2017. Its official title often includes the world ‘sea’ in order to distinguish it from the second which is held in a swimming pool. The swimming pool variant which is concerned with a number of creative categories has held twice with a third championship scheduled for Bari, Italy during 2004 being cancelled due to low competitor registration.
The 14th CMAS Underwater Photography World Championship was held from April 9 – 14, 2013 in Cuba at Cayo Largo. David Barrio of Spain was announced as the CMAS World Champion in underwater photography for 2013 and received the gold medal while runners-up Stefano Proakis and Michele Davino both representing Italy respectively received the silver and bronze medals.
The 17th Finswimming World Championships were held between 05–12 August 2013 in Kazan, Russia, at the Burevestnik swimming pool as part of the CMAS Games 2013.
The Underwater Society of America (USOA) is the peak body for underwater sport and recreational diving in the United States of America.
Finswimming in the United Kingdom (UK) is practiced at both regional and national level via a network of clubs affiliated to a national body, the British Finswimming Association (BFA).