The LEN Bureau has opted to choose late summer-early autumn dates for the 2022 European Water Polo Championships. Though the last two mid-term editions of this event in 2014 and 2018 were held in the summer, LEN returns to the 2006 and 2010 schedule for 2022 and will stage the water polo Europeans in September. Partly because the current pandemic had a domino effect on the sporting calendar and due to the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021, the FINA World Championships were also moved from the summer of 2021 to May 2022.
LEN President Paolo Barelli said,
“To have our top water polo event in July 2022 would mean unbearable load for our great water polo players who will need to enjoy a substantial recovery period after an unprecedentedly busy spring. Athletes’ welfare has always been in the core of LEN’s policies and we shall never move away from our principles. The Croatian Water Polo Federation and the local organisers were all very supportive to hold the championships at the end of the summer.”
“Though the event is still two years away, Croatia, the city of Split and the local water polo community are all already excited to welcome back the European Water Polo Championships to our country” Croatian Water Polo Federation President Mladen Drnasin added. “International water polo events always enjoy a fantastic atmosphere here in Croatia and we expect nothing less this time. On behalf of the organisers and the city, we can promise to deliver another outstanding championships in 2022.”
The magnificent Spaladium Arena is going to be the venue of the event in Split. It has a capacity of approximately 10,000 spectators and was the site of various outstanding sport events, including the 2009 men’s handball World Championships.
Early autumn dates have not been uncommon for the water polo Europeans: indeed, the last one held in Croatia in 2010 was also staged in September in Zagreb. Earlier, the 1999 edition in Florence/Prato and the 2006 edition in Belgrade also took place in September and all were tremendous success.
In 2022 the top water polo spectacle will follow the other highlight of the summer, the European Aquatics Championships in Rome, scheduled for 11-21 August.
Cover photo: total-croatia-news.com