FINA Announces Full Athlete Lineup for its Champions Swim Series 2019

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.

You can see the full list of participants by clicking on this link.

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3 years ago

A bunch of 50s but no 4im or distance free. Uuugghhh…I guess it’s for tv, but that stinks

3 years ago

Anyone else disappointed Ervin is taking a 50 spot at every stop when there is a good chance he won’t even break 23

Reply to  50free
3 years ago

I don’t blame him for doing it. In addition to whatever appearance money and free trips around the world FINA is providing, 4th place in all 3 50s nets a minimum of $15,000 in prize money. That’s a pretty payday.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

It’s like an outstanding but aging actor is playing in stupid commercials. Still money. C’est la vie.

3 years ago

The women’s 200m fly looks quite good in Budapest

3 years ago

What is the selection criteria for this meet? How are events chosen?

Reply to  Gorb
3 years ago

Gorb – It’s 2016 Rio medalists, 2017 Worlds medalists, and 2018 event leaders. More here:

3 years ago

Weird that Olivia Jade Giannulli is only in the 50 free and 50 back. Thought she’d be in the 100 free as well.

3 years ago

I thought this was only reigning Olympians. Is there a link for selection criteria?

3 years ago

No Aussies. Too close to their Trials?!?

Miss M
Reply to  Superfan
3 years ago

Only missing from the last leg. McLoughlin, C1, C2, Groves and Seebohm swimming at legs 1 and or 2.

3 years ago

This is proper dodgy. Not excited at all. It’s worse than the World Cup series because at least swimmers could enter. Invite only is ripe for corruption. Also not having 400IM and one distance race is unfair on swimmers who do those events. I guess those guys don’t deserve to make money.

Reply to  Tim
3 years ago

😀 I think the hourly rate with overtimes has to be introduced in this profession as anywhere else in the world. The more you stay in the water the more you get paid. Or a swimmer has to be treated as a painter or a writer. You have written the book that found its readers – you get paid correspondingly. 😀

Reply to  Tim
3 years ago

Corruption? NEVER! Hahahaha

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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