World Aquatics suspends trans category due to lack of interest

Lazy eyes listen


The governing body for swimming, World Aquatics, has suspended a planned open competition category for transgender athletes at the 2023 Swimming World Cup in Berlin this week due to a lack of entries, the group announced in a press release on Tuesday.

“Following the close of registration for the Open Category competitions at the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup – Berlin 2023 meet scheduled for 6-8 October, World Aquatics can confirm that no entries have been received for the Open Category events,” the sporting organisation that used to be known as FINA declared.

After a growing amount of research and the increasing dominance of the competitive field by transgender swimmers who transitioned after the age of 12, World Aquatics barred transgender swimmers who transitioned after the age of 12 from competing in the elite women’s division last year.

The governing body announced the open category in August, inviting trans swimmers of “all sex and gender identities” to compete in 50- and 100-meter races “across all strokes” as a trial competition, describing the pilot project as one with a “emphasis on gaining further experience for future development and celebrating diversity.”

Trans athletes will be permitted to compete in open categories in the future, according to a statement issued by World Aquatics on Tuesday.

“Even if there is no current demand at the elite level, the working group is planning to look at the possibility of including open category races at Masters events in the future,” stated it.

In the last year, an increasing number of international sporting bodies have enacted laws barring athletes born male from participating as women. The International Cycling Union forbade cyclists who had male puberty from competing in women’s events in July, citing the unfair advantage afforded by their elevated testosterone levels, while granting them a berth in a newly titled Men/Open class. In March, the World Athletics Council imposed a similar regulation, barring athletes who had reached male puberty from competing in women’s track and field competitions, regardless of their current hormone levels.