Originally published on April 7, 2019.
FINA has released the full athlete lineup for its FINA Champions Swim Series 2019, a new initiative that will feature three invitation-only meets in April and May, gathering many of the world’s top swimmers competing for a $3.9 million purse.
The first edition of the three-leg circuit will take place in Guangzhou, China from April 27-28. The second leg will be held in Budapest, Hungary from May 11-12, while the third and last meet will be staged in Indianapolis from May 31-June 1.
The three meets will consist of timed finals only, with four competitors per long-course meters event: 50/100/200/400 free, 50/100/200 back, 50/100/200 breast, 50/100/200 fly, and 200 IM. There will also be relays. Athletes stand to win $10,000 for fist place, $8,000 for second place, $6,000 for third place, and $5,000 for fourth place in each individual race. Relays will earn $16,000 for first place, $12,000 for second, $8,000 for third, and $2,000 for 4th and lower. A bonus of $20,000 will be paid for each new World Record established during the competition.
Among the men, Anthony Ervin (USA), Ben Proud (GBR), Vladimir Morozov (RUS), Pieter Timmers (BEL), Sun Yang (CHN), and Gabriele Detti (ITA) are the top-seeded freestylers on the first stop of the tour. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) and Xu Jiayu (CHI) will headline the backstroke races. Joao Gomes Jr (BRA), Fabio Scozzoli (ITA), Anton Chupkov (RUS), and Dmitry Balandin (KAZ) are among the top breaststrokers. Proud, Chad Le Clos (RSA), Andrei Minakov (RUS) and Masato Sakai (JPN) will lead the butterflyers, and Wang Shun (CHN), and Qin Haiyang (CHN) will highlight the IM.
The freestyle events in Guangzhou will feature Olympic champion Pernille Blume (DEN), World gold medalist Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), and Cate Campbell (AUS), as well as Li Bingjie (CHN) and Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) in mid-distance. Fu Yuanhui (CHN), Katinka Hosszu (HUN), and Emily Seebohm (AUS) will lead the backstrokers. Molly Hannis (USA), Imogen Clark (GBR), and Shi Jinglin (CHN) will be the ones to watch in breaststroke. Sjostrom, Dana Vollmer (USA), and Maddie Groves (AUS) are the favorites in butterfly, and Hosszu and Seoyeong Kim (KOR) lead the IMers.
In Budapest, additions to the men’s lineup will include Matt Grevers (USA), Evgeny Rylov (RUS), Kevin Cordes (USA), Laszlo Cseh (HUN), and Chase Kalisz (USA). Penny Oleksiak (CAN), Federica Pellegrini (ITA), Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), Etiene Medeiros (BRA), Kathleen Baker (USA), Yulia Efimova (RUS), Katie Meili (USA), and Mireia Belmonte (ESP) will be added to the program.
The last stop, in Indianapolis, will feature Bruno Fratus (BRA), Townley Haas (USA), Ryan Murphy (USA), Jacob Pebley (USA), Cody Miller (USA), Nicholas Santos (BRA), Piero Codia (ITA), Leah Smith (USA), Lilly King (USA), in top-seeded positions.