Gwangju, Budapest win right to host worlds

BARCELONA (Reuters) - The South Korean city of Gwangju has won the right to host the world swimming championships in 2019, while the 2021 edition will be in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

“The World Championship in 2019 will be in Gwangju and 2021 will be in Budapest,” governing body FINA said on their Twitter feed ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2013 event in Barcelona later on Friday.

FINA’s announcement was overshadowed by the news that the mayor of Gwangju faces criminal charges after he allegedly forged signatures of key officials in a document presented as part of the city’s bid.

Kang Un-tae has been accused of forging the signatures of former prime minister Kim Hwang-sik and former culture minister Choe Kwang-sik in a document that guaranteed public aid for the championships, a government official said.

FINA did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Reuters over the forgery accusations.

Tokyo, which is competing with Madrid and Istanbul for the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games, Baku and Abu Dhabi had their names in the hat for the 2019 and 2021 championships earlier in the bidding process.

A FINA spokeswoman said Gwangju and Budapest were the only two cities left in the final phase.

Kazan, Russia will host the 2015 edition, followed by Guadalajara, Mexico in 2017.

Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid; Editing by John O’Brien