The category was opened as a “pioneering pilot project” after the World Aquatics’ governing body banned trans-identified males from competing in the elite female category in June 2022.
Their intent for the “open” category was to illustrate their “unwavering commitment to inclusivity, welcoming swimmers of all sex and gender identities.”
The Cup reported, “Following the close of registration for the open category competitions at the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup – Berlin 2023 meet scheduled for 6-8 October, World Aquatics can confirm that no entries have been received for the open category events.”
The group decided to enact the ban on those who had undergone male puberty after research proved trans-identified males had a vast physical advantage over female swimmers despite their hormonal injections designed to decrease testosterone.
Another factor in their decision was the outrage after Lia Thomas won the NCAA national college title in the women’s category despite being a mediocre swimmer in the male category prior to transitioning.
Other sports bodies have followed suit over the past year with similar efforts to reduce the unfairness of having biological men compete in women’s sports such as athletics and cycling.
World Aquatics reports it will try the category again at masters events for swimmers over the age of 35. They are the first to attempt a unique category geared to transgender athletes.