Brent Nowicki said "there is a great sense of energy" among organisers of the Fukuoka 2023 World Aquatics Championships ©Getty Images

After two COVID-19-enforced delays, Fukuoka is finally scheduled to host the World Aquatics Championships for the second time later this year, and World Aquatics executive director Brent Nowicki has praised organisers for their "stamina".

The Japanese city had originally been due to stage the event in 2021, but this was twice pushed back, with Hungary's capital Budapest stepping in to stage an additional World Championships last year.

The schedule for the World Championships in Fukuoka was revealed last month, with swimming set to return to its usual slot in the second week, following on from diving and artistic swimming.

Open water swimming and water polo are also on the programme, and there is due to be a return for high diving.

Despite the challenges of the postponement, American official Nowicki provided an upbeat assessment of preparations at the signing of an agreement here between World Aquatics, the Bahrain Olympic Committee and GFH Financial Group to build a new centre of excellence.

"We're very fortunate that they've had the stamina to withstand the two adjournments," he told insidethegames.

"Extremely fortunate for their partnership.

"As you can imagine, the personnel changes over time, the knowledge is a bit lost and reshuffled because you get to the doorstep and then you have to retreat and they’ve had that twice, but all that said it's an extremely motivated Organising Committee.

"There is a great sense of energy among them.

"The city is excited.

"The City Hall and the Deputy Mayor we've been dealing with a lot and is intimately involved in the preparations.

"It's been a long time coming, but I have no doubt of the success of the event."

Fukuoka previously held the World Aquatics Championships in 2001 ©Getty Images
Fukuoka previously held the World Aquatics Championships in 2001 ©Getty Images

The World Aquatics executive director added that it is a "special World Championships" given it is returning to Fukuoka for the first time since 2001, and anticipates a high level of competition.

"We were last there in 2001, it's a bit of an anniversary," Nowicki noted.

"I think you're going to see a lot of great old faces that are going to come back for this one, you have a lot of great racing.

"You have a lot of great young swimmers who are now getting to their peak or peaking and you're going to see a lot of great races in the pool.

"I'm just excited to get there and get it going.

"We're now on the home stretch and we're excited - it's going great."

Fukuoka marks another major event in a busy World Aquatics calendar, and is scheduled for July 14 to 30.

Following on from Budapest 2022, it is set to be the third World Championships in a little more than 18 months prior to next year's Olympic Games in Paris, with Qatar's capital Doha scheduled to host the event from February 2 to 18 2024.

Fukuoka 2023 is due to be the first World Championships staged by World Aquatics since its rebrand from the International Swimming Federation and the acronym FINA.