2018 FINA World Cup Purse Expected To Exceed $2.5 Million USD

The total purse for the 2018 FINA World Cup is expected to exceed $2.5 million USD, with the overall winner for both men and women receiving the largest single score at $150,000.

At each individual competition, prize money will be broken down as follows (per individual event):

  • 1st – $1,500
  • 2nd – $1,000
  • 3rd – $500
  • 4th – $400
  • 5th – $300
  • 6th – $200

For relays, only the top-3 teams will receive prize money (only the mixed 200 free and medley relays are contested):

  • 1st – $3,000
  • 2nd – $2,000
  • 3rd – $1,000

Additionally, each world record swim will give a swimmer an extra $10,000.

Per cluster (there are three), the top-8 men and top-8 women will receive prize money based on the number of points they’ve accumulated. Points are collected from top-3 finishes, world record performances, and the top-3 swims of the meet (based on FINA points) also earn points.

Check out the full points breakdown below:

Medal Points

Each individual event yields points for the top 3 finishers.

  • Gold: 12 points
  • Silver: 9 points
  • Bronze: 6 points

World Record Bonuses

Each world record yields 20 points. Tying a world record is worth 10 points.

Performance Bonuses

The top 3 male and top 3 female swims of the meet earn bonus points. Top swims are determined based on FINA points. Only the top-scoring swim from each athlete is counted.

  • First: 24 points
  • Second: 18 points
  • Third: 12 points

The top-8 point-getters for each cluster will receive prize money as follows:

  • 1st – $50,000
  • 2nd – $35,000
  • 3rd – $30,000
  • 4th – $20,000
  • 5th – $10,000
  • 6th – $5,000
  • 7th – $4,000
  • 8th – $3,000

At the end of the series, the top-3 in overall points will receive prizes of $150k, $100k and $50k:

  • 1st – $150,000
  • 2nd – $100,000
  • 3rd – $50,000

*All figures are USD

Last year, it was South African Chad Le Clos who won his fourth overall title on the men’s side, while Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom won on the women’s side.

A full breakdown of the money, points and the history of the World Cup can be found on FINA’s ‘Media Book’ here.

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Caleb Dressel could earn a lot of money…free,fly, breast, and ind. me…

Steve Nolan

Ledecky, too. Idk how many short course WRs she has, but that could be fantastically lucrative if she just chips away at a few of the longer ones.


Belmonte is the S/C WR holder for the 400, 800 and 1500m. Ledecky would smash all three. Her long course WR in the 1500m is less than a second slower than Belmonte’s short course mark. Ledecky would likely go sub 15 min in short course if she really wanted to.


No point in smashing them, Steve Nolan had the right idea: just chip away, and earn the $10,000 bonus each time.


I just want to see him at SC worlds. A full team with guys like Murphy/Dressel/MA/Held/Pieroni could do some serious damage


i see that too…


Now that a lot of the NCAA standouts of the past couple of years (Ledecky, Manuel, Murphy, Dressel…etc have turned pro it will be interesting to see who tries their cards and races at these meets and SC worlds

E Gamble

Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky.are still students in college taking a full load while still training. Caeleb Dressel is done with school. I doubt he does through. It would be fun.

Love to Swim

I don’t understand why would he not race in World Cup?

It’s easy money, it’s good for his sponsors, and he is a professional swimmer anyway.

Steve Nolan

Could make a good case that it would disrupt his training. Lot of travel, lot of time away from home pools and gyms.


Not sure how much he would make. He isn’t that special during the season.


Presumably if he swam World Cup he’d be doing less training than with Troy full time. Just the time he’d need to get to Doha and adjust to the time difference would be a few days rest.


He’s got nothing between now and next summer. No NCAA season. No reason he can’t rest a bit for this. Lochte managed it.

25 free champ

In other words, about as much money as Lebron James makes for one basketball game. If there was any justice in this world the government would take some money from other sports to give these athletes more money. The money they deserve.


Um…no. Lebron James makes that much money because Lebron James draws that much money.

Steve Nolan

Free market, baybayyyy.

If anything, LeBron should make more money. Tho swimmers should too, the Olympics and the USOC are a hell of a racket.


I don’t think so. Swimming only gets ratings during Olympics. Check out the ratings all other years! Usa swimming has to pay to get on tv. I bet bowling or chess draw more viewers!

Steve Nolan

But they still get very little of that Olympic money.

SuperSwimmer 2000

Everyone has to pay to get on TV… that’s what sponsors do — they pay for the sports you see on TV. No sponsors, no ads, no TV.


You forgot about spectators. No spectators, no sponsors. Who do you see on the strands at NCAA? Family members, a few alumni and little children. You want money to come – make a swimming meet an unpredictable spectacle.. I remember how much excitement was around tennis competition in our city park when due to handicapped system everybody had a chance to win. Players didn’t know the terms and it forced everybody to play at their best even against schoolchildren. I don’t advise to do same thing in swimming but when a swimmer can skip the final of PPS just to catch a more convenient flight home I’m losing any interest to this competition. Or when at some World Cup stops… Read more »


If Lebron swam instead of did basketball, we’d be under 20 in the 50 free by now


The things that make him good at basketball wouldn’t necessarily make him good at swimming.

Steve Nolan

I mean, doesn’t necessarily have to be LeBron, but the point in general stands IMO. If we funneled the absolute freakish athletes from the big American sports into swimming we’d be so, so far ahead of where we currently are. Kris Humphries had NAGs and he was the most average of all NBA dudes!


Yeah! Whilst we’re at it let’s take money from all those bankers and lawyers and give it to teachers and nurses. The money they deserve.

From each his means to each his need baby!

Steve Nolan

This is actually a good idea, tho. “The market” is incredibly bad at actually rewarding people whose work is of real value, not just capitalistic value. (Like, home health aids should make so, so much more money than any trader.)

Love to Swim

Michael Andrew needs to swim in all World Cup stops. I believe he can win the overall prize.


He has said he is doing all stops so we will see!


Where do you get that from that he would win??!!? It’s not even gonna be close.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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