World Aquatics has unveiled two new awards up for grabs during this year’s Open Water Swimming World Cup.
The competition, which consists of five stops in five different cities, is set to kick off next month in Egypt. Each stop features individual 10-kilometer races, as well as the 4x1500m mixed relay. The full schedule is as follows:
- Meet 1 – May 8-9 in Soma Bay, Egypt
- Meet 2 – May 20-21 in Golfo Aranci, Italy
- Meet 3 – May 27-28 in Setubal, Portugal
- Meet 4 – August 5-6 in Paris, France
- Meet 5 – December 1-2 in Eilat, Israel
In addition to the annual World Cup Leader award, the World Cup Sprint Leader and the World Cup Junior Leader will debut this year. The World Cup Sprint Leader is determined based on points. Athletes earn sprint points for when they go through “specific, predetermined points within the individual 10km events.” After each meet, whoever has the highest cumulative sprint points is awarded the distinction as they go into the next stop.
The World Cup Junior Leader will be awarded to the top male and female who are 19-years-old or younger. As with the Sprint Leader, the Junior Leaders will carry their award through to the next stop.
In addition to the $50,000 awarded to the overall series winners, athletes have the opportunity to win $30,000 per stop. The overall men’s and women’s World Sprint Leaders will be awarded $10,000 at the conclusion of the series, while the overall men’s and women’s World Junior Leaders pick up an additional $5,000.
Another change this season is that World Cup organizers will also have the chance to host “mass participation” events alongside the elite World Cup races.
Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha is the reigning World Cup champion on the women’s side, while Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri and Hungary’s Kristof Rasovsky are the co-defending champions for the men.
This makes for a busy year for European open water swimmers, as the 2023 LEN Open Water Cup got underway last month in Israel. The six-stop series runs throughout the year, however, it does not conflict with the dates of the World Cup.
Why are there no World Cup stops in South America or North America?
Or Australia? Surely some of the most iconic Openwater swimming venues worldwide down under???