Kolesnikov, C. Campbell Headline Second Wave of FINA Champions Series Commits

International stars Kliment Kolesnikov and Cate Campbell will race in the 2019 FINA Champions Series, headlining the growing list of athletes to commit over the past week.

The Champions Series will be swum in long course with athletes participating on an invite-only basis and will include a team scoring format. It was announced in December amid FINA’s attempt to block the International Swim League, which has a similar format.

Kolesnikov will race the 50 and 100 back in Guangzhou, Budapest, and Indianapolis, Russian site RSport reported Tuesday. He joins Yuliya Efimova, Vlad Morozov, and Anton Chupkov among the Russian contingent set to race.

The Australian Campbell, who swam 2018’s fastest women’s 100 free (52.03), will reportedly race just the Guangzhou stop. After FINA forced a cancellation of the International Swimming League’s much-anticipated Energy for Swim meet in December, Campbell told The Daily Telegraph“I think that FINA have forgotten that they exist because of athletes,” and stressed the importance of financially supporting athletes in order to expand the sport.

Among the others to commit recently are Brazil’s Felipe Lima and veteran Nicholas Santos, Germany’s Franziska Hentke, and Belgium’s Pieter Timmers. Lima (50 breast) and Santos (50 fly) will both swim all three stops. Hentke will swim the 200 fly in Budapest, and Timmers will swim the 100 free at all three stops.

FINA sent invites to 45 male swimmers from 15 different countries, and to 37 female swimmers from 17 different countries, but we don’t know exactly who was invited. The list of invited swimmers includes “Rio 2016 Olympic medallists, Budapest 2017 World Championships’ medallists, World Record holders, and leaders of the 2018 FINA World Swimming Rankings,” FINA says.

The competition as a whole will lack distance events, with each meet including timed finals of just 50, 100, and 200m races in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, as well as a 400 free and 200 IM. FINA will award nearly $4 million in prize money across the series, making it the richest swimming event in the organization’s history. It will also cover athletes’ travel costs and provide them with appearance money.

The series is drawing mixed reactions from swimmers who, like Campbell, have been vocal in their criticism of FINA over the past few months. While Swedish star Sarah Sjostrom and American Michael Andrew, who is currently suing the governing body, have committed, Britain’s Adam Peaty announced Wednesday he would opt out but called the series ‘a step in the right direction.”

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bear drinks beer
2 years ago

Anyone knows which American swimmers apart from Andrew will participate? Haven’t heard anything about that.

Barney Rubble
Reply to  bear drinks beer
2 years ago

Have Ledecky and Manuel weighed in at all on any of this? They are leaders with enough of a future still left to have an impact…

SUM Ting Wong
Reply to  bear drinks beer
2 years ago

Antony is only 21 secs of skill . We want stars like Jussie who can overcome MAGA racial & homophobic abuse , a bleach attack , a noose attack & fight 2 masked men off & reach the finish line with Subway Italian meatballs foot long in hand ….in under 1 minute .

2 years ago

It is interesting what FINA plans to achieve with this tournament. Is it that it wants to create a new business model to raise the attractiveness and profitability of swimming competition. The competition that ignores the nationality of swimmers but is solely based on current rankings and swimmer’s proven potentials. The business model where finally the major market requirements are met when awards match the performance and vice versa. The breaking of this major principle makes what FINA is now – the corrupt bureaucratic system with no ability to progress. Is FINA going to create high prestige well paid individual competition of swimming elite winning of which will be as much respectful as winning world championship? One thing doesn’t exclude… Read more »

Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

C2, Kromowidjojo, McKeon, Oleksiak, Ruck…. could be there.

Miss M
Reply to  Brownish
2 years ago

Australian reports are that C2 hasn’t been invited as yet, nor has McKeon.

Reply to  Brownish
2 years ago

Ruck is not yet of same caliber in sprint as C1 and Sjostrom. Plus she is a student and isn’t allowed to accept money for swimming. She may race for fun, but I don’t think she will do it. She most likely isn’t invited.

Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

the whole thing just looks like a bribe to pay the swimmers some money to not speak out against FINA

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

sad to say but likely true nonetheless TAA

2 years ago

Fingers crossed for Anthony Ervin

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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