There's a storm brewing as swimmers arrive for 2019 FINA World Championships

Olympic Channel takes in the highlights of Gwangju so far, and looks ahead as Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel and Sarah Sjostrom arrive in the athletes village

By Andrew Binner

With a tropical thunderstorm on its way and swimming's Olympic stars arriving at the FINA World Championships 2019, a special atmosphere is building in Gwangju.

But first a look back at the Week One highlights, and where else to start but with China?

Diving was the resident sport at the sparkling new Nambu University Aquatics Centre during the first week, and what a show the likes of Olympic champions Shi Tingmao, Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen put on.

When Chinese divers stepped up to the board, an eerie silence of expectation descended upon the arena, before huge roars of approval as the ‘9, 9.5, 9.5, 9’ judges scores were read out. China's Yang Hao even scored perfect 10s from all seven judges on his way to silver in the 10m platform on the last day.

And what a night of drama in the Men’s Individual 3m Springboard!

British Olympic gold medallist Jack Laugher in touching distance of an upset until that fluffed final jump, handing the title to Xie Siyi.

Korea capture hearts

Over the road in the temporary water polo arena, the Korean women’s team put on a display that will go down in their nation’s history, and the start of something exciting.

On a typically humid Gwangju evening under lights in the outdoor venue, the very inexperienced hosts scored two goals for the first time at a world championships.

There were high-fives, tears and Gwangju’s two mascot otters went crazy on the sideline.

Their first goal came against Russia earlier in the week and together with their double against Canada, showed just how far the team had come since a 64-0 hammering in their first outing against Hungary. Rest assured it won’t be the last you see of Korean water polo.

Picture-perfect venue

The two-hour coach journey over to the Yeosu Ocean Park open water swimming venue made for a complete change of scenery.

With sun glistening off the water, clear blue skies and peaceful mountains surrounding, it was a blissful setting for the first of Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha’s two gold medals in Gwangju. The marathon swimming queen sealed titles in the Women’s 5km and 25 km events.

By Day 6 the sun had turned to grey rain clouds, as huge sheets of rain started to fall.

However, the United States artistic swimming team was blissfully unaware inside the large Yeomju Gymnasium facility, as the debuted their new robot routine in the Team Free competition. It went down a treat in technology-loving Korea.

Attention turns to swimming

Attention now turns to swimming and there is serious excitement building in the humid Gwangu air.

Over the next seven days the likes of Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, Katinka Hosszu and Sarah Sjostrom will be locking horns in the biggest swimming event of the year.

Can Ledecky do the freestyle quadruple for the first time? Will Dressel beat his seven gold medals from the last championships? Is this the most competitive women’s 100m free field ever?

As if the swimmers needed any greater incentives, 24 July will mark one year to go until Tokyo 2020, and victory here will mean a significant psychological advantage heading towards the Olympics.

The stage is set, so make sure you check out the Olympic Channel daily blog from Gwangju, where our team on ground continue to providing the latest news, behind-the-scenes action and features.

You can see a full schedule of the swimming events here, and our preview of the competition here.