The city of Belgrade was chosen as the site of the first ever World Swimming Championships by the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), in 1973. The success of the event encouraged FINA to make the Championships a permanent fixture on the world swimming and other aquatic sports calendar.

Swimming, men’s water polo, diving and synchronized swimming were a part of the first Championships. Over the years more events have been added (see events)

In 1998, FINA decided to move the Championships from a four to two year cycle, and the event has seen a steady increase in the number of countries and athletes taking part.

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