FINA Cancels Remainder of 2020 Marathon, UltraMarathon Swim Series

July 28th, 2020

FINA has cancelled the remaining stops of the 2020 Marathon Swimming World Series and UltraMarathon Swim Series in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Announced on July 20, FINA cancelled the remaining 6 stops of the Marathon Swim World Series, which is a series of elite 10km open water swims around the world. That series was able to launch one stop of 10, in Doha, Qatar on February 15, before it had to pause with the global spread of the coronavirus. While several stops were rescheduled, and FINA had previously stated the hope to reschedule other events, ultimately, the remaining dates of the series were scrapped:

• August 1 – Lac Megantic, Canada
• August 18 – Victoria, Seychelles
• August 30 – Ohrid, Macedonia
• September 19 – Nantou, Taipei
• October 15 – Chun’An, China
• October 24 – Hong Kong

The series pays $30,000 per stop in prize money to elite athletes, in addition to a minimum of$350,000 in prize money paid to overall series winners. This means that a minimum of $620,000 in prize money was lost by the cancellation. Also cancelled were all 6 scheduled stops of the FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series. In this series, events must be at least 15km, and some are much longer. The UltraMarathon series offered in 2019$81,000 in overall prize money, with different events offering their own varying degrees of prize money.

The dates of that series that were cancelled:

• July 25 – Lac St. Jean, Canada
• August 22 – Ohrid, Macedonia
• August 29 – Novi, Croatia
• September 5 – Capri/Napoli, Italy
• November 8 – Rosario, Argentina
• November 15 – Santa Fe, Argentina

These events (both the Marathon and UltraMarathon series) typically have limited fields of swimmers from around the world. With challenges presented to travel during the pandemic, those fields were likely to be even smaller, and possibly limit the ability to hold competitive races, even if open water swimming races could be held safely.

This leaves only a handful of potential FINA events on the calendar for the remainder of 2020. The Kazan, Russia stop of the Diving World Series is still listed by FINA as “postponed to September/October 2020,” but the All-Russia Diving Federation announced this week that the stop was canceled.

FINA Diving Grant Prix stops in Windsor, Canada; Kuala Lumpur; Cairo; and Bolzano, Italy are all listed as “postponed” but without information about makeup dates.

The entire Artistic Swimming World Series has also been canceled.

That leaves the FINA Swimming World Series, its biggest series-style competition, as the only remaining series on FINA’s calendar for the remainder of this year. The Singapore stop, which was due to open the series from September 4-6, has been officially canceled. The 2nd stop, Jinan, China, is on ice after China announced that it will not stage most of its scheduled international sporting events for the remainder of 2020.

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