Cancellation of the 4th Meet Open Water World Cup 2023 in Paris

Cancellation of the 4th Meet Open Water World Cup 2023 in Paris

In a surprising turn of events, the 4th meet of the Open Water Swimming World Cup 2023 has been cancelled. Mother Nature had other plans, it seems, with above-average rainfall in Paris causing the Seine’s water quality to dip below the acceptable standard.

The decision to cancel wasn’t taken lightly. World Aquatics, public health authorities, and event delivery partners all came together, putting the health of the swimmers at the forefront of their decision-making process.

“World Aquatics is disappointed that water quality in the Seine has resulted in the cancellation of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup, but the health of our athletes must always be our top priority,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam.

There are ongoing infrastructure projects aimed at improving the Seine’s water quality. These projects are expected to be completed in time for next year’s Olympic Games, offering a glimmer of hope for future events. The dream of city-center Olympic racing for the world’s best open water swimmers next summer is still very much alive.

The cancellation, however, has highlighted the need for a Plan B. World Aquatics, Paris 2024, and local authorities are now working together to ensure robust contingency plans are in place for next year.

Statements from Caroline JOUISSE, swimmer of the French team, after the announcement of the competition’s cancellation:

“I am obviously frustrated that the competition is cancelled because I did not participate in the last world championships so my goal was to perform at this race and, being 3rd in the world cup ranking it was important to be strong on this race. The fact of swimming in France in the Seine a year before the Olympic Games was a great opportunity to take references with the aim of performing at the Games but I am still happy that all means have been put in place. Until the last moment and even this morning at 4am they took samples, they did their utmost to allow us to swim and that’s great. It was great to go to the race site, to see the whole course set up, it allowed us to project ourselves so it was great. It is, I think, one of the most beautiful race locations in the world. I am also relieved that World Aquatics take into account our health and allow us to swim safely. I remain confident for the future, there are a lot of resources being put in place to ensure the smooth running so I think there will be no problem for next year for the Olympic Games.”

Pierre Rabadan, the Deputy for Sports at Paris City Hall:

“Everyone is disappointed this morning, primarily for the athletes and the event organizers. The decision was made within a few hours,” he said.

The most recent water analysis, conducted 24 hours prior, revealed an Escherichia Coli bacterium count of 1300 CFU per 100 ml. World Aquatics, the international swimming federation responsible for the event, stipulates a maximum limit of 1000 CFU per 100 ml for the competition to proceed.

“We will find out tomorrow (Monday) if the water quality would have been suitable for swimming at the scheduled start of the competition (Sunday at 07:30),” Rabadan added.

He further noted that instantaneous readings, although not part of the international federation’s official analysis process, indicated that the water quality was acceptable that morning, with the bacterium count falling below 1000.

Pierre-Antoine Molina, the Secretary General for Public Policies of the regional prefecture, echoed Rabadan’s sentiments, stating, “The cancellation was likely a matter of a few hours.”