World Cup Cluster #2 Kicks Off In Hong Kong This Weekend


The second of three FINA World Cup clusters kicks off in Hong Kong this weekend, with competition getting underway on Saturday, September 30th at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool. A few changes are headed competitors’ way, as FINA just announced 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 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.

In terms of competitors, the usual World Cup suspects will be joining the already-announced 6-person German squad competing in Hong Kong this weekend, including Cluster #1 winners Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos.

With a new FINA rule where swimmers can only compete in 4 individual events per meet, the typically in-every-race Katinka Hosszu will continue to be held to a much more compact schedule with each stop. The Hungarian Olympic gold medalist appears on the entries book across more than 4 events, including the 50 back, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 back, 100 back and 100 IM, so she’ll be cutting down that list.

Half of Australian the swimming power couple that is Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin will be ready to rock, as Seebohm appears in the entries book in an almost identical schedule as Hosszu. Larkin, who raced in the first cluster, is absent from Hong Kong’s entries book.

Newly-minted 50 SCM freestyle world record holder Ranomi Kromowidjojo is set to appear, as is China’s emerging freestyle force Li Bingjie, the teen who dominated her the recent Chinese National Championships with Asian records in the 400m and 1500m freestyle events.

Le Clos will face American rival Tom Shields across the men’s butterfly races, while Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi will also be chasing a paycheck among the field.

Short course monster Vladimir Morozov of Russia is expected to race as well, as is Italy’s freestyle ace Gabriele Detti.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dottore Battistello
3 years ago

There is the full programme in Hong Kong and Doha (17 events men 17 women plus 2 relays) as there are only two meets for this cluster.
The maximum number of individual entries per swimmer is 6 (six) per meet at cluster#2

Reply to  Dottore Battistello
3 years ago

That’s right. Sjostrom and Hosszu in a pretty good scrap for the top prize heading in to cluster 2 making this year’s world cup more interesting than other years. Both entered in six races over 2 days with the only head-to-head being the 100 IM. I wish I wasn’t geo-blocked and Fina would let me watch.

Reply to  Marley09
3 years ago

They can’t both swim all six events though because of the annoying 4 event per swimmer rule.

Reply to  Hannah
3 years ago

FINA made an exception for Cluster 2 because there are only two stops. Full program and six events per swimmer.

Reply to  Marley09
3 years ago

Six events make it a little tighter, but I reckon Katinka would need seven or eight to beat Sarah in a cluster, let alone the entire World Cup. Six is still a great number for Sarah. Her worst of the six, 100IM, she’s 2nd all-time in(albeit behind Katinka). WR possibilities in the rest. If they were to add events from there, Katinka would still have some good ones to pick, while Sarah would have to add something we don’t often see like a 50 or 100 back, or maybe a 200IM. She’d be good in those but not top class.

3 years ago

Half of Australian the swimming power couple that is Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin will be ready to rock, as Seebohm appears in the entries book in an almost identical schedule as Hosszu. Larkin, who raced in the first cluster, is absent from Hong Kong’s entries book. This makes no sense!

Reply to  Retta Race
3 years ago

Larkin is not there so he is not ready to rock!

Reply to  gregor
3 years ago

Hence only half of the Seebohm/Larkin duo (Seebohm) in attendance. Thanks!

Reply to  RETTA
3 years ago

Yes, it was unclear until I saw this explanation.

Aussie crawl
Reply to  gregor
3 years ago

Small aussie presence on HKG.
I suspect Mitch is back at SPW now.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »