FINA Champions Series Will Be Hosted in US, Hungary, and China

The United States, China, and Hungary have been tabbed as hosts for the first edition of the new FINA Champions Swim Series that will launch in 2019.  The three-meet event that will offer over $3.9 million in prize money was announced during FINA meetings in December in what seemed to be a direct response to the rise of the International Swimming League (ISL).

According to Russian Swimming Federation president Vladimir Salnikov, the 50-meter meets will include only final heats (no prelims) and only World champions, Olympic champions, World Record holders, and other highly-ranked international swimmers. The competition is expected to be held from March to May of 2019. Each meet will take place over 3 days.

SwimSwam has spoken to several high-level elite athletes, who indicated interest in the series because of the significant prize money on offer, but most of them said that they would only participate if the meets were easy to travel to. That’s because of the timing ahead of the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, which will be held from July 12th-28th.

FINA has indicated that they wouldn’t approve many ISL events because they conflicted with the FINA competition calendar, though they haven’t yet mentioned interference with the individual training calendars of athletes.

The $3.9 million purse will make the series the largest prize offering in pool swimming history.

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1 year ago

So they haven’t picked these exact hosts? I don’t think they have thought through the whole process! Let’s say Peaty doesn’t go, so no one will be in the 100 breast?!?

1 year ago

There is already 1 pro series event in each of those months in the Us. I guess since they’re only including the best swimmers, but that does detract some of the draw/fanfare if there is a drop off of US stars.

Will the best US swimmers collectively drop the pro series event that is in that same month for this FINA event or will they stay away to ensure it doesn’t succeed as FINA hopes?

Reply to  coacherik
1 year ago

considering the pro series this year, is going to be in small to medium sized towns without major airports close by, i dont think it would be much of a problem…

Brian M
Reply to  Swimming4silver
1 year ago

You make it sound like it is being held in Siberia. With the exception of Knoxville, all of the sites for this year are much easier to get to than Omaha. It has nothing to do with access, it’s all about whether or not the meet is attractive to top flight swimmers.

1 year ago

What is their definition of “highly ranked international swimmers”

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago


Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

FINA is grasping at straws right now.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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