FINA has named host cities and dates for a 7-stop 2019 World Cup series, with the format of the series to be discussed and decided during the Short Course World Championships later this year.
In a direct inversion of the 2018 lineup, the 2019 series will start with a three-stop cluster in Asia, followed by a two-stop European cluster, with the final cluster featuring stops in Kazan, Russia and Doha, Qatar. The 2018 schedule started in Kazan and Doha, with the European cluster remaining in the middle and the three-stop Asian cluster closing out the series.
The 2018 tour featured long course meters formats for the first cluster, followed by the tour’s traditional short course meters format for the remaining five stops. FINA said in a press release that it would discuss the length of the pool and the number of events for each stop during the Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou, China. But later in the release, it does note that long course times swum on the World Cup would count for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying, implying that at least one of the stops would be in long course meters.
The release also says the tour will keep its 2018 scoring cap: athletes can enter (and earn prize money in) as many races as they want, but can only score series points with their best 3 finishes.
All 7 hosts remain the same from the 2018 tour. Here are the hosts and dates for 2019:
Cluster 1 (Asia)
1. Tokyo (JPN) – August 2-4
2. Beijing (CHN) – August 8-10
3. Singapore (SGP) – August 15-17
Cluster 2 (Europe)
4. Eindhoven (NED) – September 27-29
5. Budapest (HUN) – October 3-5
6. Kazan (RUS) – November 1-3
7. Doha (QAT) – November 7-9
FINA’s full press release is below:
FINA is delighted to announce the dates and hosts of the 2019 FINA Swimming World Cup, an annual competition launched in 1979 which gathers the world’s swimming elite in a circuit crossing Asia and Europe.
The 31st edition will be split into seven experienced hosts and divided into three Clusters, including three legs in the first stage and two meets in the second and final Cluster. The prize money available for the 2019 edition reaches over US$ 2.5 million equally awarded between the genders.
The format of the 2019 FINA Swimming World Cup (length of the pool, number of events) will be discussed and finalised in Hangzhou (CHN), where the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will take place from December 11-16, 2018.
The World Cup will get off the blocks in Tokyo (JPN), on August 2-4, immediately after the conclusion of the FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju (KOR).
The following weekend, from August 8-10, the swimmers will race in Beijing (CHN), a host that has welcomed the Series for many years, while Singapore will host the final stage of the first Cluster from August 15-17.
Eindhoven in the Netherlands will then take the relay from September 27-29 and Budapest (HUN), also host of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in August 2019, is the chosen city for the final meet of Cluster #2 from October 3-5.
Finally the third and final Cluster of the 2019 World Cup will take place in Kazan (RUS) from November 1-3 and conclude in Doha (QAT) from November 7-9, as both cities have previously organised successful FINA World Championships and FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) respectively.
All meets will run across three days and swimmers are allowed to enter an unlimited number of individual events, however only the best 3 results will count toward the ranking/scoring. All events competed in a 50m-pool will be considered as qualifiers to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Russia’s Vladimir Morozov currently lead the provisional 2018 ranking with 204 and 208 points respectively.