World Aquatics has agreed to award the 2025 World Aquatics Championships to Singapore ©World Aquatics

Singapore has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2025 World Aquatics Championships, replacing Russian city Kazan which is hoping to secure the event in 2029.

Kazan was named as host of the 2025 edition in 2019, but the event that features swimming, water polo, diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving competitions has now been moved to Singapore.

The decision comes after Kazan lost the rights to stage last year's World Swimming (25m) Championships, with Melbourne in Australia taking the city's place, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, Tatarstan's Minister of Sport Vladimir Leonov insisted that discussions were underway with World Aquatics over Kazan staging the World Aquatics Championships in 2029 - 14 years after it last played host.

"We are in dialogue with the International Federation," Leonov told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"The World Championship in Kazan has not been cancelled, it has been postponed to 2029. 

"Everything else will remain the same."

World Aquatics told insidethegames that the selection process for the 2029 event was "still open" with "no decisions made about the host city".

Singapore will become the first Southeast Asian nation to host the World Aquatics Championships, with World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam saying the event is in "good hands".

Dates have yet to be confirmed for the 2025 edition which is expected to be participated by more than 2,500 athletes.

Singapore's National Stadium was lit up to celebrate the awarding of the 2025 hosting rights ©Singapore Swimming Association
Singapore's National Stadium was lit up to celebrate the awarding of the 2025 hosting rights ©Singapore Swimming Association

The Singapore Sports Hub - a complex that features the National Stadium, the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the OCBC Aquatic Centre - is set to be the venue for the World Aquatics Championships.

"Singapore has everything we hope to share with our athletes: world-class facilities, proven experience of hosting events of the highest quality and a comprehensive approach to aquatic sports that runs from elite level to the community," said Al-Musallam.

"With a back-to-back-to-back trio of World Aquatics Championships in Asia – following Fukuoka this year and Doha in 2024 - the continent is demonstrating exceptional commitment and ability when it comes to welcoming the world’s best aquatic athletes."

Singapore has previously staged top-level World Aquatics events, including holding World Cups in five of the six aquatics sports and the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships.

“As you might expect from an island nation, Singapore has a proud tradition of aquatic sports," said Singapore Swimming Association President Mark Chay.

"Our whole community is excited about the opportunities that will come from bringing the world’s best aquatics athletes to Singapore - from the teams that have represented us with honour at the Olympic Games and the World Aquatics Championships to the young people training in our clubs."

Australia's five-time Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe has also praised the decision, claiming Singapore has a "special apprach to maximising sport's potential to change lives for the better".

"To be here today and see what some of those students have achieved over the last decade is a great honour," said Thorpe. 

"I’m thrilled to know that some athletes will now have the chance to pass on what they have learned to a new generation, as part of hosting World Aquatics’ most important event.”

Singapore Swimming Association and Sport Singapore, a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, are expected to work together to deliver the event in two years' time.

"We are thrilled to welcome the world's best aquatics athletes to Singapore in 2025," said Keith Tan, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board. 

"Being selected as the host city for the biggest aquatics tournament in the world reinforces Singapore’s position as a leading sports and lifestyle destination in the region. 

"We look forward to welcoming the athletes and their fans and friends to Singapore."