Olympian Vlad Morozov to Hit All Stops of FINA Champions Series

Russian sprinter Vlad Morozov, who trains with Trojan Swim Club at USC, will swim at all three stops of the inaugural FINA Champions Series this spring, he announced on Instagram Tuesday.

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Happy to announce that I will be competing in the #fina Champions Swim Series racing the 100m Freestyle. Guangzhou – April 27-28 Budapest – May 11-12 Indianapolis – May 31-June 1 #madwave Спешу сообщить о своем участии в новой Серии Чемпионов от #fina исключительно на дистанции 100м вольным стилем.

A post shared by Vladimir Morozov (@v1adm) on

The Champions Series is a long course, 3-leg competition 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.

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.

As the fastest swimmer of 2018 in the event with his Russian Nationals time of 47.75, Morozov was invited to swim only the 100 free; he was fourth in the world in the 50. The 2012 Olympian took second to Caeleb Dressel in the 100 free at the 2018 FINA Short Course World Championships.

He’ll first race in Guangzhou, China, April 27 to 28, 2019. The second meet is scheduled for 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.

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 a 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.

Morozov joins Anton Chupkov and Michael Andrew, who is currently suing FINA, on the list of athletes confirmed for all three legs of the series.

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do we think there’s any chance caeleb does it?

Will 37

I think zero.

What’s less than zero?


-0 chance?

Nailed it


will he do ISL?

No idea. Traditionally. Gregg Troy swimmers stay close to home and train rather than travelling around to big tours and circuits to compete. But, Caeleb also has the chance (not the guarantee, but the chance) to earn generational-type wealth via FINA Champions Series, ISL, Worlds, Olympics, and other meets. The kind of wealth that could make his family wealthy for generations. I guess we’ll find out if that pull is enough. I think a lot of Americans, who tend to be way more conservative in their meet selection than most countries, are going to have to answer these questions. The format as it is now, that involves a few Atlantic crossings, is going to leave a lot of Americans to… Read more »


but if the the Americans are going to try this series or do it for cash, this is the best year to see if this can work for swimmers as professionals – I think Michael Andrew and many Europeans already showed that swimmers can earn more by competing more, and some new pro from US also trying more travel meet in World Cup or Europe. For American swimmers got invited, there is no major meet selection at risk this year, the last stop is a month and a half (in US) from LC WC, the meets are 2-day events and timed final only. And however they perform in this series or even in WC, it won’t impact their Olympic bid… Read more »

I agree with everything you said. But, when you talk to American coaches and athletes, there’s this widespread belief (it almost seems like a superstition) that competing is almost a reward, and that swimming is best done with delayed gratification, where it’s best to wait and save it for the big meet. Anything less is almost treated as blasphemy. It’s a very strange attitude. It can be seen strongly in John Leonard’s latest editorial, where he basically says that the FINA Champions Series is basically going to encourage doping, because the only way to compete that many times in such a short period is to dope. https://swimswam.com/wsca-fina-champions-series-format-invites-peds-into-our-sport/ I hope that this paradigm shifts. It already is a little. There are… Read more »


“But, when you talk to American coaches and athletes, there’s this widespread belief (it almost seems like a superstition) that competing is almost a reward, and that swimming is best done with delayed gratification, where it’s best to wait and save it for the big meet. Anything less is almost treated as blasphemy.”

That is bizarre and a bit silly.


I agree with your characterization of US swimmers, they don’t support the pro circuit like they should, by and large. It would be better for the sport if more American swimmers competed in more pro meets.

Ol' Longhorn

Zero, unless it’s the 400 IM.


From Morozov’s Wikipedia:

“On 25 July 2016, Morozov was named by FINA as an athlete who had been identified by WADA as one that had benefited from the ‘disappearing positive methodology’ as part of a Russian state-run doping programme, and as such FINA declared him ineligible for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.”

Watch Icarus!


Even though this FINA series are given more money to swimmers, it is also only the top whom are getting invited and benefit. It is good for the top pro swimmers but still a long way before swimming is like other sports where athletes, coaches and other supporting staff can earn a living.

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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