The Madeira 2020 World Para Swimming European Open Championships in Portugal has been postponed to 2021 and will now take place from 16-22 May next year.
The decision was announced on Tuesday (11 August) by World Para Swimming and the Local Organising Committee (LOC).
The European Championships was initially scheduled to 17-23 May but later postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, World Para Swimming announced the 2020 season would be put on hold until September to monitor the situation related the coronavirus outbreak.
Since then, the International Federation has been in discussions with the Madeira LOC to find new dates for the Euros.
As an Open event, athletes from all continents will be able to take part at the Europeans next year.
Madeira 2020 will be jointly organised by the Portuguese Swimming Federation (FPN), the Madeira Swimming Association (AN Madeira), the Municipal Chamber of Funchal and the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.
“We are extremely happy to be able to share this news with our sport community and our fans," Georgios Antoniou, World Para Swimming Manager, said. We understand that these have been difficult months due to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, but we have been in continuous contact with the LOC and the Madeira authorities to be able to find new dates for the competition."
"The European Open Championships is the last major event before the Tokyo Paralympic Games and we believe the move is the best option to allow athletes and teams to better plan their activities ahead of next season. We look forward to a great competition and to seeing our athletes in action again,” Antoniou added.
Antonio Jose Silva, FPN President, said:
“Just after the pandemic caused by COVID-19, and the inevitable consequences of the confinement in many countries around the world, it is a great responsibility and honour to host in 2021 the World Para Swimming European Open Championships Madeira 2020. With the major contribution of local authorities, we will for sure organise an amazing event which all the athletes will greatly remember. It’s time to become more global again. We hope to meet you all in May.”
Around 500 swimmers from more than 50 countries are set to compete at the Penteada Swimming Complex, in Madeira’s capital Funchal.
This will be the second time the Portuguese island hosts the Euros following the 2016 edition – which was also an Open event and served as preparation for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.