World Cup to debut open category for trans swimmers

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A general view of the swimming pool at Berlin's Europasportpark
Berlin’s Europasportpark will host the Swimming World Cup event in October

World Aquatics will debut a new open category for transgender athletes at this year’s Swimming World Cup event in Berlin.

The open category will feature 50m and 100m races across all strokes.

“This highlights [our] unwavering commitment to inclusivity, welcoming swimmers of all sex and gender identities,” said World Aquatics.

Last year World Aquatics said the open category would be for swimmers whose gender identity is different than their birth sex.

Describing the creation of the open category in Berlin as a “pioneering pilot project”, World Aquatics said more events could be added.

The governing body said detailed entry requirements and entry times would be made available “soon”.

“To be eligible, swimmers need an affiliation with a national federation and will be given the flexibility to participate individually, for their club, team or as national federation members,” it added.

The Berlin competition, which takes place on 6-8 October, is the first of three World Cup meetings this year.

They are a key part of the swimming calendar, coming shortly after the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka and before the same event in Doha in January.

World Aquatics, which was formerly known as Fina, said the open category placed emphasis on “gaining further experience for future development and celebrating diversity”.

German Swimming Federation’s vice president Kai Morgenroth added the hosts were “proud” to hold an event where swimmers can “compete without barriers”.

“Berlin is Germany’s hub for diversity and inclusion and therefore the perfect location for such a progressive project,” he said.

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