FINA announced via a press release that they’ve sent out invitations to national federations for athletes chosen for their Champions Swim Series. Below, we’ve broken down an outline of what we know so far about the Champions Swim Series, per FINA‘s releases.
- There will be three meets as part of the FINA Champions Series.
- They’ll run in the spring, prior to summer championship meets, which is different from the proposed ISL 2019 schedule, which is set for the fall.
- The meets will be long course meters.
- FINA sent invites to 45 male swimmers from 15 different countries, and to 37 female swimmers from 17 different countries.
- It’s unknown who, exactly, was invited. FINA says the list of invited swimmers includes ‘Rio 2016 Olympic medallists, Budapest 2017 World Championships’ medallists, World Record holders, and leaders of the 2018 FINA World Swimming Ranking.’
THE WHEN AND THE WHERE
- So, three meets. The first will be in Hangzhou, China, April 27 to 28, 2019. Hangzhou just held the 2018 SC World Championships.
- The second meet is scheduled two weeks later, May 11-12, in Budapest, Hungary.
- The third meet will be in the United States, scheduled for May 31-June 1 in Indianapolis at the IUPUI Natatorium.
- Remember, this meet is LCM, unlike many regular season international meets.
- The meets will include only direct finals, with four athletes per final. That means no prelims.
- Events will be the 50’s, 100’s and 200’s of every stroke, plus the 400 free, and 200 IM. No distance events. Same event lineup as the ISL.
- 1st place – $10,000 USD
- 2nd place – $8,000 USD
- 3rd place – $6,000 USD
- 4th place – $5,000 USD
- 1st place – $16,000 USD
- 2nd place – $12,000 USD
- 3rd place – $8,000 USD
- 4th place – $2,000 USD
- Participating athletes can expect travel and accommodations, along with appearance fees, paid for.
- New world records will come with a $20,000 bonus.
At first glance, this is a very substantial amount of money. The Pro Swim Series upped its prize money for 2019, but an event win is $1500, with $1000 for 2nd and $500 for 3rd, which is significantly less than the FINA Champions Swim Series. The FINA series is also purportedly going to have nearly $4 million in prize money across just three meets, while the PSS is a five-meet series.
Meanwhile, the ISL is listed as having a minimum of $5.3 million in prize money for event placing, only, and this does not include the intended club salaries and appearance fees. The ISL also states that the minimum of $5.3 million is a number that they’re currently at, with no official sponsors as of yet, meaning that number could rise. That money, however, is also spread across more meets – the ISL currently has a 12-meet regular season planned, plus the semi-finals and finals. That series is expected in the fall and won’t overlap, dates-wise, with the Champions Swim Series, and which is also expected to have a finals ‘tournament’ in December as part of its schedule.
- “FINA is confident about the interest this competition will generate among the world’s best swimmers.”- FINA President Julio C. Maglione.
- “The original competition format, alongside the show we want to create around swimming and the very attractive prize money distribution are important elements characterizing the new ‘Champions Swim Series’. With the superb performances of our Stars, we will provide a new image of Swimming to the world.” – Maglione.