The “Fédération Internationale de Natation” (FINA) was founded in London July 19, 1908 during the Olympic Games in London (GBR). Eight national federations were responsible for the formation of FINA: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden.

The states aims of the Federation were:
1.    to establish unified rules for swimming, diving and water polo, applicable at Olympic Games and other international competitions;
2.    to verify world records and establish an official updated world records list;3.    to manage swimming competitions at the Olympic Games.

Since 1973, FINA organises World Championships with on the programme swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and open water swimming. The first 15 editions took place in Belgrade (YUG, 1973), Cali (COL, 1975), Berlin (GER, 1978), Guayaquil (ECU, 1982), Madrid (ESP, 1986), Perth (AUS, 1991), Rome (ITA, 1994), Perth (AUS, 1998), Fukuoka (JPN, 2001), Barcelona (ESP, 2003), Montreal (CAN, 2005), Melbourne (AUS, 2007), Rome (ITA, 2009), Shanghai (CHN, 2011), and Barcelona (ESP, 2013). The next editions will take place in Kazan (RUS, 2015), Guadalajara (MEX, 2017), Gwangju (KOR, 2019) and Budapest (HUN, 2021).

Other more contemporary landmarks include the introduction of: World Cups in swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming (1979), World Masters Championships (1986), World Swimming Championships in 25m-pool (every two years since 1993),  Marathon Swimming World Cup (1994), Diving Grand Prix (1995) and the

Super Final of the Diving Grand Prix (1998), World Open Water Swimming Championships (2000), Water Polo World Leagues for men (2002) and for women (2004), World Junior Swimming Championships

(2006), Synchronised Swimming World Trophy (2006), Diving World Series (2007), World Water Polo Development Trophy (2007),  10km Marathon Swimming World Cup (2007), Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (2007), World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships (2012) and High Diving World Cup (2014).