Mexico City 2017: History of the Swimming Worlds

This year’s edition is the third time the Americas have hosted the Championships.

Ihar Boki competes at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain. Ihar Boki competes at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain. © • Luc Percival Photography

There are just 50 days to go until around 550 swimmers from 60 countries will compete at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Pool in Mexico City, at the eighth edition of the World Championships.

The first one took place 23 years ago, with Valletta, Malta, receiving nearly 500 swimmers from 44 countries. The Worlds then moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1998, attracting more than 450 swimmers from 51 countries. Canada topped the medals table with 25 gold medals, but Great Britain sealed the most medals overall with 58.

An outstanding 50 world records were set at the 2002 World Championships in the Argentinian coastal city of Mar del Plata, with 574 participants from 53 countries taking part in the competition.

British swimmers shone in Durban, South Africa, in 2006, winning 52 medals overall, including 24 golds, topping the medals table in the sport’s last major competition before the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. USA’s Jessica Long, who will represent her country again at Mexico City 2017, was one of the main stars at only 14-years-old.

Eindhoven, the Netherlands, staged the fifth edition in 2010, attracting 649 athletes from 53 countries at the Pieter van den Hoogenband stadium. Ukraine left as the most decorated nation after sealing 20 golds.

In 2013, nearly 43 world records were set in Montreal, Canada, at the biggest swimming competition after the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Close to 480 athletes competed, with 39 from the 53 participant countries winning at least one medal.

The last edition of the World Para Swimming Championships took place in Glasgow, Great Britain, featuring 580 swimmers from 70 countries. Brazil’s Daniel Dias claimed an incredible seven golds over seven days, while Belarus’ Ihar Boki set five world records and won six titles.

More information can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.