Four athletes will represent Turkmenistan at the 21st World Aquatics Championships swimming tournament, which has started in Doha.
The World Championships in the capital of Qatar was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2023. However, the International Swimming Federation decided to hold it in February 2024, as the tournament scheduled for 2021 in Fukuoka took place in July 2023, which was initially rescheduled to 2022 due to the postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo by a year, and then postponed to 2023 due to COVID-19 restrictions in Japan. Therefore, starting from 2022, when Hungary hosted the tournament instead of Japan, the World Aquatics Championships will be held every year until 2025, instead of once every 2 years as it was before 2019.
Due to the fact that the competition is taking place in an Olympic year, some stars of aquatic sports, especially swimming, have decided not to participate in the championship. Nevertheless, the list of participants includes many well-known names. In addition, the tournament is also interesting because of the battle for quotas for the 2024 Olympic Games.
According to the Swimming Federation of Turkmenistan, our team will be represented in eight events: Merdan Atayev, a 28-year-old master of sports of international class and participant of the last two Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, will compete in the 50m and 100m backstroke events; Musa Zhalaev, a Master of Sports and a first-year student of the Yagshigeldi Kakayev International University of Oil and Gas, will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle events; Anastasia Morginstern, a first-year student of the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports, will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle events; and Aynura Primova, a candidate for master of sports, will compete in the 100m and 200m backstroke events.
Aynura Primova and Merdan Atayev will be the first to start, as they will participate in the preliminary heats of the 100m backstroke on February 12.
For our swimmers, the World Championships in Doha will be the final qualifying competition on the way to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.