Earlier today, SwimSwam’s Anne Lepesant compiled a comparison of the top times from the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games. See that here.
While these lists are a virtual ranking, we won’t have to wait long to see at least some of the battles played out. The organizers of the 2014 World Cup stop in Dubai, which begins on Sunday, August 31st, have confirmed participation of Velimir Stjepanovic and Thomas Fraser-Holmes for their stop of the series, which is the second in the schedule.
Stjepanovic was the European Champion last week in the 200 meter free in long course, and Fraser-Holmes won the 200 free at both the Commonwealth Games and the Pan Pac Championships this year.
On paper, Fraser-Holmes has the advantage over short course meters – his best is in the 200 free in short course meters is a 1:42.56 from an in-season Tokyo World Cup, and he was last year’s World Cup winner in both Tokyo and Beijing in the event. Stjepanovic finished 5th at the European Short Course Championships in December in 1:44.02, but has since dropped almost two seconds from his long course 200.
The Serbian Stjepanovic has one other major advantage: home pool. He’s spent most of his life living and training in Dubai, where he grew up as an ex-pat.
That should make for a great battle between the two, with South Africa’s Chad le Clos, at least, ready to play spoiler.
The World Cup series starts in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, August 27th. No full start lists for any of the meets have been released yet. Announced swimmers for Dubai so far:
Kenneth To, Australia (2012 overall series winner)out after back surgery.
- Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain
- Bobby Hurley, Australia (2013 3rd-place)
- Daryna Zevina, Ukraine
- Daniel Gyurta, Hungary
- Katinka Hosszu, Hungary (2013 and 2014 overall series winner)
- Chad le Clos, South Africa (2013 overall series winner)
- Alia Atkinson, Jamaica (2013 series runner-up)
- Roland Schoeman, South Africa
Full 2014 World Cup Schedule
August 27-28 Doha (QAT)
August 31 – September 1 Dubai (UAE)
September 29-30 Hong Kong (HKG)
October 4-5 Moscow (RUS)
October 24-25 Beijing (CHN)
October 28-29 Tokyo (JPN)
November 1-2 Singapore (SIN)