American swimmer Michael Andrew has announced that he’s committed to the upcoming inaugural edition of the FINA Champions Series.
In an Instagram post on Monday evening, Andrew posted that he has been selected to race the 50 breast and 50 fly and would compete at all three meets.
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I’ve dreamt of more opportunities to make a living as a professional swimmer and I’m happy to announce that I’ll be competing at all three stops of the Fina Champions Swim Series. I’ve been selected to represent in the 50 Breast and 50 Fly. This would have never been possible without the efforts of the @iswimleague, thank you Konstantin and thank you @fina1908 #changeisgood #HereToCreate #Grateful
The new FINA series, which was announced at the peak of fervor of the upstart International Swimming League (ISL), will award over $3.9 million in prize money across a 3 meet series. Athletes will be divided into teams (FINA has not announced yet exactly how those teams will be split up), points will be awarded, and team champions will be declared and awarded additional prize money.
Andrew’s presence at the meet is of particular note because he is one of the three named lead plaintiffs in a pending class action lawsuit against FINA over FINA blocking ISL events in 2018. After blocking the ISL event, FINA announced the champions series with a very similar format.
Andrew thanks the ISL‘s founder Konstantin Grigorishin in his post, saying that he believes that Grigorishin’s league is one of the major reasons that FINA created the new high-dollar series.
The 19-year old Andrew is a 5-time World Champion in short course meters and the 2018 Pan Pac Champion in the 50 free. He’s also a 4-time World Junior Champion and finished 4th in the men’s overall standings at the 2018 FINA World Cup Series.
Andrew is scheduled to represent the United States in the 50 breast, 100 breast, 50 fly, and 50 free at next summer’s World Championships.
- Individual Prize Money: US$ 2’436’000
- Relay Prize Money: US$ 648’000
- Overall Team Prize Money: US$840’000
- To include 50, 100, and 200m races in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly; as well as a 400 free and a 200 IM
- Timed Finals only – 4 swimmers per race
- 4 relay races per meet
- Meets will be held over 3 days, from Friday to Saturday
THE WHEN AND THE WHERE
- So, three meets. The first will be in Hangzhou, China, April 27 to 28, 2019. Hangzhou just held the 2018 SC World Championships.
- The second meet is scheduled two weeks later, May 11-12, in Budapest, Hungary.
- The third meet will be in the United States, scheduled for May 31-June 1 in Indianapolis at the IUPUI Natatorium.