12 - 28 Jul 2019
FINA World Championships - Gwangju
Olympic Channel were on site in Korea as diving and artistic swimming begin at the World Championships.
Olympic Channel are on site at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
You can re-live all of Friday's action with our blog below (newest updates first). Come back for daily live blogs throughout the Championships.
12 - 28 Jul 2019
FINA World Championships - Gwangju
All times below are Korean Standard Time (UTC+9 hours).
That's it for the Opening Ceremony as Momoland bring their performance to an end.
Thank for you joining us on the first day of competition in Gwangju!
Don't forget to come back tomorrow when we'll see the first medals handed out in open water swimming, diving, and artistic swimming.
Until then, we'll leave you with a selection of the day's best pictures from South Korea.
The finals begin tomorrow, Saturday 13 July. Don't forget, these Championships are acting as an Olympic qualifier for Tokyo 2020 in a number of sports, including open water swimming. The women's 10km race takes place on 14 July with the men's on 16 July.
South Korean girl group Momoland have taken to the stage now as the Opening Ceremony heads towards its conclusion.
Fireworks fill the sky above Gwangju. We're in for a great 17 days of action.
FINA President Julio Maglione invites the South Korean President Moon Jae-in to declare the Championships open, which he does after a short speech.
The biggest cheer of this flag parade comes, unsurprisingly, at the end, when the flag of the Republic of Korea is carried in.
There were 194 flags — including the FINA flag for the Independent FINA Athletes — in that parade.
It's now time for the opening speeches.
We've just spotted the athletes from Singapore mouthing along to a Korean pop song currently being played in the gymnasium. At least some of them appear to be enjoying this!
The participating countries' flags are now being carried into the Gwangju Universiade Gymnasium, in order of their Korean names.
Unsurprisingly, water is a strong theme in this performance. We're being treated to a display about Gwangju's history, which stretches back over 2000 years.
And we're underway with the Opening Ceremony. Here come the dignitaries, including the South Korean president Moon Jae-in and FINA president Julio Maglione.
We're just two minutes away from the scheduled start of the Opening Ceremony, but given the artistic swimming duet technical preliminaries have only just finished, we might be in for a short wait.
Water polo competitions begin on Sunday, but we've been to check out the pool at Nambu University.
You normally only get to see the finished product from the spectators' seats...
But here's what lies beneath the pool!
As we mentioned in our artistic swimming preview, the country to watch is Russia. Unsurprisingly, Olympic champions Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko have moved top of the standings in the duet technical event, with a score of 95.9501, more than 2.5 points ahead of second-placed China.
Like water polo? Well, the Gwangju 2019 organisers and FINA have a new discipline for you in Korea.
Beach water polo is being contested as a demonstration event, and also begins today. We'll of course keep an eye on it for any great goals or big plays.
Chen Yiwen tops the standings after the preliminary round of the women's 1m springboard with a total of 287.95 from her five dives. She finishes a cool 30.30 points ahead of her teammate Chang Yani. The event is still ongoing with the last few divers but none of them are likely to threaten the Chinese dominance at the top.
Spanish artistic swimmer Ona Carbonell placed second in the solo technical event after this morning's preliminary round, and you can watch more about her on the Olympic Channel!
Here's a taste.
Huge cheers from the South Korean crowd for the home team in the artistic swimming duet technical prelims.
A score of 74.8296 puts them into fifth after eight teams.
Now, swimming doesn't get underway for another week, but we have some news to bring you.
Men's 1500m freestyle world record holder Sun Yang has withdrawn from the event, which will be held on the last two days of competition, 27 and 28 July.
Instead, Sun, who is the current world champion at the 200m and 400m distances (and was London 2012 Olympic champion in the 1500m), will focus on those shorter distances as well as the 800m, which makes its debut at Tokyo 2020.
We're back underway with action from the Nambu International Aquatics Center in Gwangju, with the 1-metre women's springboard diving preliminaries. The first round of the duet technical programs in artistic swimming also start shortly.
Check this out... the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju is front and centre of Korea's premier English-language newspaper, the Korea Joongang Daily.
Don't forget, we're @olympicchannel across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Get in touch with us and tag us in your photos and we might just feature them on the blog!
Russia's Sveta Kolesnichenko has taken the Solo Technical artistic swimming provisional round, with a fantastic routine to the music of Lara Croft. Spain's Ona Carbonell sealed second while Japanese Yukiko Inui finished third. The top 12 finishers all qualified for the tomorrow's final. Congratulations all!
Breaststroke Olympic champion Adam Peaty will be hoping to break his own world records in this very arena next week.
We caught up with him to find out, among some other things, if it's true that swimmers can't run. Also checkout our podcast with him at the link below! It's a good-un.
OK so Justin's not here in person... but after every dive in the Men's 1m Springboard preliminary rounds, a 10 second blast of electro-pop music blares out over the speakers. The Korean crowd love it! In addition to Bieber we've had hits by Bruno Mars as well as the late and great Avicii.
The grey clouds are circling above the state-of-the-art (indoor) diving and swimming centre, but the Gwangju 2019 mascot otters are still smiling as it's a lovely 28°C (80°F) on the ground.
11:00 – 14:00 Diving: 1m Springboard Men preliminary round
11:00 – 13:30 Artistic swimming: Solo Technical preliminary round
15:30 – 18:00 Diving: 1m Springboard Women preliminary round
16:00 – 19:00 Artistic swimming: Duet Technical preliminary round
20:00: Opening Ceremony
This friendly face was on hand to greet athletes and media at the accreditation centre. They love tech in Korea, and we're expecting (hoping!) to see much more of this. After all, this is the land that brought us Samsung and several other big names in the tech game.
Good morning or 'annyeong' from Korea, and welcome to the Olympic Channel 2019 FINA World Championships live blog.
We're on site in Gwangju, where the rains from earlier in the week have fittingly been replaced by sunshine and warm temperatures on Day 1.
Keep it locked on OlympicChannel.com to receive the latest news, behind-the-scenes action, exclusive interviews and much more throughout the event, 12-28 July.