World Aquatics has received “no registrations” for its new “open category”, intended to accommodate transgender swimmers, at the Swimming World Cup in Berlin this weekend, the world body announced on Tuesday. “No registrations have been received for the open category events,” the International Swimming Federation said in a statement.
World Aquatics announced in mid-August the launch of this category from the Berlin World Cup stage, after having banned transgender athletes from participating in major events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup in 2022. A working group responsible for setting up an “open category” was then created. “The World Aquatics Open Category Working Group will continue its work and engagement with the aquatic community. Although there is currently no demand at the elite level, the working group plans to examine the possibility of including open category races in Masters events in the future,” adds the Federation. .
The Berlin meeting, one of three stages of the Swimming World Cup this year, takes place from October 6 to 8, and serves as qualifiers for the Doha World Cup in February 2024 and for the Paris Olympics, next summer.
“Open categories” had been offered for 50 and 100 meters in all swims. The British Rowing and Cycling Federations have also announced in recent months the creation of an “open category” for transgender and non-binary people.
At the international level, at the end of 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave up on establishing uniform guidelines for the participation criteria of intersex and transgender athletes, leaving control to the federations. International governing bodies for cycling and athletics have banned transgender competitors. World Athletics, which oversees athletics, decided in March to exclude transgender people from women's competitions.