Without much fanfare, FINA has quietly cut Eindhoven, Netherlands from the 2014 World Cup series schedule, leaving a 7 meet series that will run from late August until early November.
The original schedule had Eindhoven in sort of an orphaned sitting on October 4th-5th, but when FINA announced Monday that there was a new title sponsor for the 2014 World Cup, Eindhoven was notoriously absent from the new schedule.
Now, there will be three clusters: one in the Middle East including Doha and Dubai; one trans-Asian cluster with Moscow and Hong Kong; and one other Asian cluster with Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore sitting as hosts.
The dates of the meets have also been shuffled from the original announcement, with the Moscow meet being moved earlier to fill the gap of the Eindhoven event. This will leave much bigger gaps between clusters.
The 7-meet cluster will be a reduction from the last two years, where there were 8 meets, and will also create two two-meet clusters, as compared to the 3-2-3 format in the past, that may reduce the travel incentives for athletes especially based in the western hemisphere.
Eindhoven doesn’t have quite the same history as a World Cup host as Berlin did before being left out of this year’s schedule as well; the whole of the Netherlands had never hosted a meet prior to this year. The latest update, however, will leave Moscow as the only European host of the season.
August 27-28 Doha (QAT)
August 31 – September 1 Dubai (UAE)
September 29-30 Hong Kong (HKG)
October 4-5 Moscow (RUS)
October 24-25 Beijing (CHN)
October 28-29 Tokyo (JPN)
November 1-2 Singapore (SIN)