FINA Announces $2.8 Million USD Prize Money Pool for 2021 SC Worlds in December

by Spencer Penland 1

August 06th, 2021 International, News

FINA President Husain Al-Musallam has announced that the prize money pool for the upcoming Short Course World Championships in December has been significantly increased. Al-Musallam announced the prize money will total over $2.8 million USD, including a 50% increase in prize money for individuals. Additionally, there will be a $50,000 USD bonus to any swimmer who breaks a world record. The announced $2.8 million USD prize pool is well above the $2.07 million up for grabs at the previous SC Worlds, which took place in 2018.

The 2021 SC World Championships are slated to be held from December 16-21, in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Speaking on the increase in prize money, Al-Musallam said ” I promised the Aquatics family that I would prioritise athletes, increase prize money and ensure there is no discrimination in our sport. Today’s announcement honours this commitment.” Al Musallam went on to add that “[athletes] all deserve the very best competitions and prize money that reflects their standing as the world’s greatest athletes.”

According to Al-Musallam, the prize money for individuals will be increased 50% over the 2018 numbers. Assuming the 50% increase will be applied to all finalists, this is what the 2021 SC Worlds prize money will look like for individual events.

Note: this is the confirmed prize money breakdown. This table simply reflects what a 50% increase in prize money would look like if applied to each place 1st-8th. 

2018 SC Worlds Prize Money 2021 SC Worlds Prize Money
1st Place $10000 $15000
2nd Place $8000 $12000
3rd Place $7000 $10500
4th Place $6000 $9000
5th Place $5000 $7500
6th Place $4000 $6000
7th Place $3000 $4500
8th Place $2000 $3000

The $2.8 million USD prize money pool will mark the largest prize pool of any FINA swimming event to date. It comes in just ahead of the $2.73 million USD that was awarded to swimmers at the 2019 LCM World Championships, in Gwangju, South Korea. This is significant because historically the LC Swimming World Championships has been a much bigger meet than the SC version, and therefore the prize money available at SC Worlds was considerably smaller.

One of the factors causing FINA to increase prize money awards for their SC World Championships is the emergence of the International Swimming League (ISL), which is competed in SCM. In the 2020 ISL season, the league awarded over $6 million USD in prize money to its teams and athletes. With the ISL season ending just before the SC World Championships, and the greater prize money totals available in the league, it’s put pressure of FINA to increase their own prize money awards, in order to keep swimmer interest and attendance up for SC Worlds.

The announced $2.8 million USD pool for SC Worlds is also far outpacing the previous FINA Champions Series prize pool. The most previous FINA Champions Series was held in 2020, where it was set to award just shy of $2 million USD over the course of the series.

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2 months ago

But has the isl paid up?