By Lee Kyoung Mi and Lee Jihae
Photos = The Organizing Committee of the 18th FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019
The 2019 World Aquatics Championships, to be hosted by the southwestern city of Gwangju from July 12-28, are in the final stages of preparation.
The city government and the event’s organizing committee said construction of Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center and other facilities for swimming and diving events are more than 90 percent complete. Gwangju aims to wrap up construction early next month, and has conducted daily inspections of the facilities since April.
The FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee visited Yeosu, Jeollanam-do Province, to inspect the competition venue for open water swimming. Committee member Stephen Cassidy complimented the facilities at the venue and vicinity and expressed hope for a good competition.
Lodging and additional facilities in the athletes’ village are also being built to handle the estimated 6,000 players, team officials and reporters expected to attend.
The cafeterias will serve Asian, European and halal cuisines to cater to the diversity of nationalities and culinary preferences. Slated to open on July 5, the athletes’ village will include a bank, post office, doping test center, fitness center and more.
The city and the organizing committee also said they are building a cooperative system with government organizations to respond to terrorism, fire or other emergencies. They also pledged their best efforts to streamline the tournament’s operation and management, the arrival and departure of the players, and other procedures.
The induction ceremony for the approximately 3,000 volunteers working at the event is slated for May 27. They will aid in interpretation and translation, protocol and the running of award ceremonies.
Under the theme “Dive into Peace,” the championships are expected to attract about 15,000 athletes and team officials from about 200 countries.
Tickets for the events are available via the website https://tickets.gwangju2019.com/enand at 20 major KTX (bullet-train) stations throughout Korea including Seoul, Yongsan and Gwangju-Songjeong stations. Group discounts include 10 percent off for the opening ceremony and 30 percent off for regular events; those who buy tickets before July get a 5-percent discount.