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‘Open category’ for transgender swimmers scrapped due to lack of interest at World Cup in Germany

An “open category” swimming event to accommodate transgender athletes has been canceled in Germany due to a lack of interest.

World Aquatics, formerly known as FINA, originally announced in July that the Berlin Swimming World Cup would be the first competition to have an “open category” for all swimmers. The event announcement followed backlash from LGBTQ activists to its “gender inclusion policy” established in 2022 that only permitted transwomen swimmers who began transitioning before age 12 to compete in women’s categories.

Days before it was set to begin on Oct. 6, the “open category” event was dropped with the organization citing “zero” entries.

“Following the close of registration for the open category competitions at the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup – the Berlin 2023 meet scheduled for October 6-8th – World Aquatics can confirm that no entries have been received for the open category events,” the organization said in a statement.

Lia Thomas at the NCAAs

Trans University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas swims in the 500 Freestyle finals during the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 17th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Georgia. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“When World Aquatics instituted its Policy on Eligibility for the Men’s and Women’s Competition Categories, we committed to exploring the creation of an open category,” World Aquatics president Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement at the time. “True to our word, a team of experts has diligently worked to make this a reality. I would like to thank all those who have helped World Aquatics to deliver this opportunity.”

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Lindsay Kornick is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to and on Twitter: @lmkornick.


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