FINA, the international governing body for Olympic and World Championship swimming, has announced a 6-meet FINA World Cup Series for the 2020 season. The series will return to its more traditional short course meters format (raced in a 25-meter pool, rather than the Olympic 50-meter pool) after the Olympics. The 2019 series was held in long course meters as athletes prepare for and hope to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The first cluster of the series will be held in Asia just a few weeks after the Olympic Games, with Singapore and Jinan, China serving as the first two hosts.
After a few weeks off, the series will then see racing on back-to-back weekends in Kazan, Russia and Doha, Qatar in cluster 2, with the series finishing in Berlin, Germany and Budapest, Hungary in cluster 3.
The 6-meet series would be the second-smallest in World Cup history, after only the 2009 World Cup that had 5 stops.
2020 FINA World Cup Series Schedule:
1. Singapore (SGP) – September 4-6
2. Jinan (CHN) – September 10-12
3. Kazan (RUS) – October 2-4
4. Doha (QAT) – October 8-10
5. Berlin (GER) – October 23-25
6. Budapest (HUN) – October 30 – November 1
The 2020 circuit will feature familiar hosts. This will mark the 19th occasion by which Berlin hosts, which is more than any other city in series history, while recent World Championship hosts Kazan and Budapest will continue their entrance into the regular international hosting rotation. Jinan hosted for the first time in 2019 and will do so again in 2020, while Doha will be hosting for the 8th-consecutive season and Singapore will host for the 14th-consecutive season.
The series will lead up to the 2020 Short Course World Championships which will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in December. The series, and the Short Course World Championships, now run into a direct conflict in timing with the International Swimming League (ISL) schedule.
The circuit will award “around $2.5 million in prize money” in 2020, and will continue its 3-day meet formats. There are still 2 stops remaining in the 2019 World Cup Series, with Kazan to host from November 1st-3rd, and Doha from November 7th-9th.