Swimming World Cup’s ‘open’ races for transgender swimmers are scrapped after NOBODY entered following ban on them competing in female events

  • World Aquatics last year announced a new category for transgender¬†athletes
  • The ‘open’ races were axed after no entries were received for the World Cup
  • Despite a lack of interest, it’ll still look to include an open category in the future

The first ‘open’ races for transgender swimmers have been scrapped after no entries were received for this week’s World Cup meeting in Berlin.

World Aquatics last year announced the new category for athletes whose gender identity is different from their birth sex after banning transgender women from competing in elite female events.

The open category was set to feature for the first time in Berlin with 50metre and 100m races across all strokes as part of what the governing body called a ‘pioneering pilot project’.

However, World Aquatics on Tuesday announced that no swimmers had entered the events, forcing them to rethink their policy for elite meetings.

‘Following the close of registration for the open category competitions, World Aquatics can confirm that no entries have been received for the Open Category events,’ they said in a statement.

The first ‘open’ races for transgender swimmers were scrapped after World Aquatics received no entries, despite launching the new category following their row with Lia Thomas (above)

The category was set to feature for the first time at this week's World Cup meeting in Berlin

The category was set to feature for the first time at this week’s World Cup meeting in Berlin

‘The World Aquatics open category working group will continue its work and engagement with the aquatics community on open category events. Even if there is no current demand at the elite level, the working group is planning to look at the possibility of including open category races at masters events in the future.’

World Aquatics changed their policy last year in the wake of the row involving American Lia Thomas, who became the first known transgender swimmer to win the highest US national college title.

Other sports such as athletics and cycling followed swimming in blocking transgender women from competing in the female category, but World Aquatics are the first to try to organise a third category separate from men’s and women’s events.

The World Cup in Berlin starts on Friday and will see Britain’s three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty compete for the first time since March following his break to focus on his mental health

The governing body, fronted by president Husain Al-Musallam (above), described the new open category a 'pioneering pilot project' when it was launched by World Aquatics last year

The governing body, fronted by president Husain Al-Musallam (above), described the new open category a ‘pioneering pilot project’ when it was launched by World Aquatics last year

Thomas was the first known transgender swimmer to win the highest US national college title

Thomas was the first known transgender swimmer to win the highest US national college title

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