Men will be eligible to compete in Artistic Swimming at the Olympic Games for the first time in history come Paris 2024.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the bid by World Aquatics, formerly known as FINA, which will enable male competitors to take part in the Team Event.
Artistic Swimming, previously known as synchronised swimming, has been part of the Olympic programme since Los Angeles 1984, with the team event debuting at Atlanta 1996.
To date, the Team Event has consisted of eight female competitors, but the new regulations will permit a maximum of two men to compete in each team at an Olympic Games.
Ten nations are expected to field teams at Paris 2024 and Italian Georgio Minisini is likely to be one of the strongest prospects for a historic appearance at the Games.
The 26-year-old secured maiden World Championship titles in the mixed duet events at Budapest 2022 before claiming gold in the first-ever male solo contest to be held at a major senior championship, at the LEN Roma 2022 Europeans.
“This announcement marks a milestone in Artistic Swimming history,” states a delighted Minisini.
“Our sport’s evolution towards inclusivity is going on fast forward and this decision from IOC and World Aquatics will help us become an example for the whole Olympic movement.
“As one of the most popular sports in the Games, we are ready to share the Olympic motto around the world louder than ever; “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”.”
Male artistic swimmers will be able to compete in both mixed duet and team events during the 2023 European Games in Poland, which incorporate the sport’s European Championships next year.
“We are delighted to learn that male artistic swimmers will be given the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games for the first time,” said LEN President Antonio Silva.
“The inclusion of men’s solo competitions at Roma 2022, the first time at a senior LEN event, was a significant step for the sport in Europe and we look forward to working with World Aquatics, as well as the IOC, to develop further opportunities for male artistic swimmers moving towards Paris 2024 and beyond.”
WATCH MINISINI WIN HIS HISTORIC SOLO EUROPEAN GOLD AT ROMA 2022