2017 FINA WORLD CUP – DOHA
- Wednesday, October 4th & Thursday, October 5th
- Hamad Aquatic Center
- Prelims at 10am local/Finals at 6pm local
- Entries Book
- Live Stream (FINAtv, where available)
The second of three FINA World Cup clusters concludes Doha already this week, with competition getting underway on Wednesday at the Hamad Aquatic Center. As with Hong Kong, a few changes are headed competitors’ way, as FINA announced that ahead of time that more money will be distributed among the best swimmers both in the overall rankings and the specific cluster rankings.
You can read more about the monetary prize changes here, but essentially, now the three best ranked men and women will receive $150,000 USD, $100,000 USD and $50,000 USD, giving a total of $600,000 USD. Up to this year’s FINA World Cup, the male and female winners got $100,000 USD, second placed athletes 50,000 and third best overall swimmers 30,000.
Another change to be implemented with the Hong Kong stop and applicable thereafter, including Doha, is the criteria for a ‘finals free pass’ given to past medalists in each event. Cluster #1 saw gold, silver and bronze medalists from both the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2016 Short Course World Championships head straight to finals. This weekend, however, only gold medalists from Rio and gold and silver medalists from Windsor will get to jump straight to finals. Added to the straight-to-finals mix will be gold, silver and bronze medalists from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, per FINA’s meet information documents for the Hong Kong stop.
Also, due to the fact that there are only 2 stops during this cluster, swimmers are eligible to race in 6 individual events as opposed to the usual 4 for each meet.
The race to win cluster #2 is coming down to the wire between rivals Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Tom Shields of the United States. Both earned 75 points apiece in Hong Kong, with Shields getting the gold over Le Clos in the 200m butterfly event. The former Cal swimmer also earned 3 silvers and 2 bronze, while Le Clos put 3 golds and 3 silvers in his pocket. Both men are entered in 6 events a piece in Doha.
Although Swede Sarah Sjostrom comfortably leads the overall World Cup points for the women, Hungarian speedster Katinka Hosszu is doing her best to close-in on her fellow world record holder. Completing a perfect 6-for-6 sweep of individual events in Hong Kong, Hosszu collected on a $9,000 payday and is eager to ultimately take home the $50,000 cluster bonus.
Most of the high-profile athletes that we saw take to the pool in Hong Kong will also be present this week in Doha, including Dutch sprinters Femke Heemskerk and Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Chinese teenager Li Bingjie, South African Olympian Cameron Van der Burgh, Aussie Emily Seebohm and Russian dynamo Vlad Morozov.