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Sunday, 11 February 2007 06:59

Swimming - History

Medallists join hands in the air Swimming - History
Swimming has been part of every modern Olympic Games since 1896

The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) was founded in 1908 as the governing body for all aquatic sports, 12 years after swimming made its debut at the first modern Olympic Games.

Representatives from eight countries (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden) decided to unify the rules for aquatic sports ahead of the 1908 London Olympic Games.

FINA standardised the rules for swimming, diving and water polo, and organised the recording of official world records. The 1908 London Olympic Games were the first to use a purpose-built swimming pool under FINA rules.

At the 1st Asian Games in Delhi, India in 1951, aquatics was one of the six official competitive sports. It has remained an Asian Games sport ever since.

Swimming was part of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 but featured only the men's freestyle and breaststroke events. Backstroke was added in St Louis in 1904, when women were first allowed to compete.


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