Doha 2024: a historic event comes to a close. WORLD AQUATICS

The World Aquatics Championships - Doha 2024 drew to a close after two weeks of exhilarating competition as athletes hailed the record-breaking event, which was held in Qatar for the first time.

More than 2,600 athletes from a record 204 countries and one refugee team competed in six aquatic sports over 17 days at the Aspire Dome, Hamad Aquatic Centre and Old Doha Port. The Championships reinforced Doha's position as a world-leading host of outstanding sporting events and will leave a lasting legacy for aquatics in Qatar and beyond. Athletes from more than 30 different countries won medals, with China leading the medal table, as the world of aquatics gathered in Doha - the first city in the region to host the prestigious tournament. Competitors from all six aquatic sports spoke highly of their experience, stressing the facilities that enabled them to perform at their best. 

Katie Shortman, who won silver for Great Britain in the artistic swimming competition, said: "We just want to say that we love Qatar and we loved being here. The sports facilities are incredible, and it is wonderful to compete here." 

Canadian swimmer and medallist Ingrid Wilm added: "It's a great experience. You can tell that Doha has put a lot of work into this. It's pretty incredible to swim here and see what they've done. I especially liked having two options for warming up, the outdoor pool or the indoor pool." 

Husain Al-Musallam, President of the World Aquatics Federation, was delighted. WA
Husain Al-Musallam, President of the World Aquatics Federation, was delighted. WA

The high diving at the Old Doha Port proved popular with packed stands for the men's and women's events, and four-time Australian world champion Rhiannan Iffland was effusive in her praise. "It's not often that we have a place such a comfortable place to dive, with all the platforms and everything. It's really been a fabulous place," she said. World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam and Singapore 2025 Co-Chairman Mark Chay were joined by His Excellency, Vice Chairman of the Doha 2024 Organising Committee, Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain, and Director General, Khaleel Al Jaber before the final swimming session, which highlighted the power of peaceful competition. 

Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain assured them that they had helped to leave a lasting legacy will be left in the region. "Since Doha was awarded the hosting rights for the World Aquatics Championships, the Local Organising Committee, in collaboration with key sectors of the country, has worked together to organise a successful and memorable event at all levels, " he said at the Closing Ceremony. 

"This championship has shown that sport is an important factor in promoting unity and peace, and it has also given us an important humanitarian message as we have seen athletes competing for the World Aquatics Refugee Team. The event was a mixture of competition and sportsmanship, where everyone spoke the language of unity, solidarity and synergy, in line with the Olympic Charter," he added. 

HE Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain, Vice Chairman of the Doha 2024 Organising Committee. WA
HE Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain, Vice Chairman of the Doha 2024 Organising Committee. WA

World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam remarked: "Doha has been an outstanding home for our athletes and our aquatics family. The venues are absolutely superb. Our athletes have loved competing here, and I know that they would want me to say a very big thank you to all the organisers under the leadership of H.E. Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani for creating this magnificent aquatics palace." 

"I will always be grateful to everyone here in Doha who has helped make all the plans into a reality. This is the first time that the World Aquatics Championships have been held in the Middle East, and I could not be more proud of its success. Qatar, thank you for showing the world once again that you are a remarkable destination for hosting major events," he concluded.