Official website of 16th FINA World Masters Championships 2015 in Kazan

The FINA World Masters Championships are the competition in aquatic sports across different age categories. It brings together Olympic champions and runners-up, world title holders, and winners of continental championships. The world’s best and most popular athletes gather for this tournament.

The first attempt to formalise international masters swimming was made at the inaugural Age Group Aquatic Competition in Toronto, Canada in 1978. A formal meeting was held on April 12, 1983 in Sydney, which resulted in the formation of Masters Swimming – International (MSI), with Australian Gary Stutsel as the first President. A year later, seven more nations sought to take fee-paying membership to nine and a rulebook was drawn up.

Newly elected FINA President Robert Helmick proposed to the Bureau in 1984 that the international federation take Masters under its wing. In April the following year, the FINA Bureau met in Indianapolis and formed a Masters Commission.

On November 9-10, 1985, the Bureau voted to take jurisdiction of Masters Swimming – International. Special rules had to be drawn up so that Masters could join the FINA family of sports and for the appointment of members of a Masters Committee to be possible. The inaugural MSI World Masters Championships, in Tokyo in 1986, were organised under FINA rules.

Masters became a formal member of the FINA family of sports during the Congress held in Madrid in 1986.

A rule amendment was made to make it possible for older swimmers to race as masters without forfeiting their right to compete at the elite level. The Bureau also appointed the first FINA Masters Committee.

Swimming remained the only sport at the second and third World Masters Championships, respectively in Brisbane, Australia, in 1988, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1990, but since then all five FINA disciplines have become part of the show, while MSI faded away in favour of FINA.

On October 29, 2012, the FINA Bureau made a decision to expand the existing programme of the FINA World Championships and to add the Masters tournament to it, beginning 2015. According to the new format, the FINA World Masters Championships will be held alongside the main event, as its integral part (FINA Bureau minutes from the October 29, 2012 meeting, Minute 12).