A general survey conducted by LEN among its National Federations shows that elite European aquatic athletes could return to the pools throughout the continent. As restrictions are being lifted step by step, representatives of all disciplines could restart their respective trainings, though it will take some time before fans can witness thrilling competitions again.
The LEN Office has conducted a survey among its National Federations on pool openings, the currently applied restrictions at trainings and on plans to hold competitions. The outcome shows that elite athletes have received green light to return to the pools in almost each country around Europe. Mostly swimmers could restart their pool practices but divers and artistic swimmers are also allowed to train in more and more territories. Also, countries with top water polo programmes have let their elite players do their daily jobs.
“We are happy to see that life returns to the pools around Europe and more and more athletes are allowed to resume their trainings” LEN President Paolo Barelli said. “Europe has always been famous for having fully committed athletes, coaches, and federations with utmost professionalism, and this guarantees that our continent will bounce back after this extraordinary period. European Aquatics is the leading force in our sport and LEN will do its utmost to maintain this position by offering any possible support for our federations.”
According to the replies the LEN Office has received from the federations, an array of strict restrictions are applied at the training sessions and competitions are yet to appear on the horizon. Most of the respondents don’t see any official events commencing before August.
“While we witness different approaches and different timings in the various countries, LEN agrees that our athletes’ health must come first and rushing with staging competitions, although being the bread and butter of LEN, is not our top priority at this stage. We need to make sure our athletes get back into training first. Nonetheless, we can’t wait for the moment when we can watch exciting races and matches again” Paolo Barelli said.
Europe’s aquatic elite may reunite in great numbers next May in Budapest where the European Aquatics Championships are set to take place. Dates for the respective disciplines have just been confirmed by all stakeholders. The event will kick off with the diving (10-16 May) and the artistic swimming (10- 15 May) competitions, the open water events are held on 12-16 May, while the second week (17-23 May) is dedicated to swimming. As for water polo, the European club competitions are set to begin in late autumn this year.