FINA Nearly-Doubles Prize Money for 2018 Short Course World Champs

FINA has announced almost a doubling in the prize money for the 2018 Short Course World Championships. Less-than-a-week after confirming that prize money would remain at $1,173,000 million, the same as 2016, FINA announced on Tuesday that the prize money will leap to $2,070,000 for December’s event in Hangzhou, China.

Now, all finalists will receive at least $2,000, while World Record prize money remains at $15,000.

Original Prize Money New Prize Money Percentage Increase
1st place 8000 10000 25.00%
2nd place 6000 8000 33.33%
3rd place 4000 7000 75.00%
4th place 2500 6000 140.00%
5th place 2000 5000 150.00%
6th place 1500 4000 166.67%
7th place 1000 3000 200.00%
8th place 500 2000 300.00%

This makes the event the largest-prized short course meters meet in history, with numbers approaching those offered at long course World Championships ($2,520,000 in 2017).

For an idea of what these numbers mean, for the biggest winner at the 2016 Short Course World Championships, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, what was a $68,000 prize in 2016 would have been $86,000 in the new prize scheme. The lower placements see even bigger increases, with prize money for 8th-place finishers quadrupling.

We asked FINA if the change was in response to the Energy for Swim meet or the International Swimming League, but did not receive a response. FINA has moved to block participation in that meet, including threatening 1-2 year bans for athletes who participate. The announcement was made after many nations have announced their rosters, with several big-name swimmers declining to participate at the Short Course World Championships who may have been influenced by the increased prize money.


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Fina: Dont @ me energyforswim


Well deserved…. Keep the prize money up. Well deserved


What about swimming for the pure passion? All this talk about money clearly gets in the way. Swimmers have plenty of time to earn a living if they spend time in college studying and earning a degree. Going back and forth in a cement hole in the ground filled with water is no way to earn a living. I realize a few people will disagree but they are thinking like a bunch of liberals. We should return to the amateur ways of pure athletics! When the Olympic were started those great athletes did not do it for prize money. I say end all this cash talk, restrict pro swimmers from the Olympics and get back to true athletes…not money hungry… Read more »


Your boss – “hey I know you love this field. So I’m not gonna paY you, and you can do it out of passion! Cool? 🙏 🙏🙏🙏”


Yes you made my point precisely. Money corrupts.




It’s cheap. You perfectly understood SOCRATESHATESOLIVEOIL’s point. The competitive swimming isn’t a profession that can support a swimmer for the entire life. Swimming career is very short and only a few very talented can earn something for the next 10-15 years after retirement. For anybody else it is better to have a plan “B” If everybody will be busy only with trying to grab whatever is possible during a few active years things in swimming can get very ugly. First of all we will see children giving up on education starting earning money from the very young age even before high school. And secondly we will witness a spike in doping, because now the reward for the risks gets increased.… Read more »


My fiend, competitive swimming is a job, a very hard one, just as every high-performance type of sports and everybody’s profession. Nothing can be sure to nobody for the future.
I dont’t want to answer on the first and the secong you wrote about, because those simply not true.

Love to Swim

Not every swimmer lives in the USA.


Yeah you are right other sports deserve to make millions and swimmer deserve nothing. Let’s just take away all money that way no one can even afford to stay in the sport….. 😂😂


Probobly the the dumbest comment I have ever read on swimswam. Why should a talent decide to swim insted of playing for exempel football when they can make millions each year playing football and not a dollar swimming.

No one would have been able to afford swimming. How should professional swimmers be able travel to meets across the world? Should their parents pay for them when they are 27? Or should they loan the money?


No their parents should not pay for them when they are 27since if there were no prize money in our beloved sport these athletes would need to focus on academics and start working a real job. The fact you say my comment is the dumbest speaks to the brilliance of said comment. That you are incapable of understanding the depth of this idea and ideal is to be expected. To compare football to swimming is not appropriate. Bam!


Swimming should, and is, entertaining for the audience. Shouldn’t entertainers be payed? Shouldn’t an artist be payed for his/her concerts?


These athletes train sometimes 6 hours a day. It’s not realistic to expect them to get a fulltime job while they’re doing it. Most swimmers are high achievers and will have hreat careers after swimming is over. Get a real job??? Do you know how hard they work? I think it’s important that tue sport supports it’s athletes to achieve their goals. They aren’t asking for handouts and the money they earn usually goes right back into training unless ur one of the fortunate few.


I feel sorry for you.


Sport was amateur in the early days to keep the lower classes out of sport- so it was only an activity for gentleman of wealth and privilege. A skilled poor athlete wasn’t allowed payment, prize money or to earn cash from training other people.


WOW – can someone be so out of touch with reality?


Nobody is amateur. Just as you. No opportunity that you are working for charity, meaning no money for you. Please don’t ask anybody in this case.

brett davies

You take away the money factor and then the sport will go down the drain-no elite athlete would continue after college.


Definitely because of ISL!
This is one of the reasons ISL is needed. FINA has to give something of value (for example higher prize money) to the swimmers to make them compete at their competitions.

The dream scenario would be if professional swimmers would swim untapered at the ISL meets and then taper twice a year for World Championships and for example Euros.
If this would be the case there would possibly be over 250 swimmers with a salary over 100 000$ a year.

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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