The FINA Bureau approved today the organisation of a new and additional swimming event format, to debut in 2019: the “FINA Champions Swim Series”. It will consist of a three-leg competition, between March and May, aimed at Olympic and World medallists, in an innovative format aimed at creating a world-class platform for elite swimming and to develop a fresh focus on the highest-level athletes in FINA events.
The Series will be an exceptional showcase for the sport and its top swimmers, that combines pure competition, together with innovative sports presentation and entertainment. It will comprise events of 50m, 100m and 200m in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly (as well as the 400m free and 200m IM), in addition to four relay races. The programme for the FINA Champions Swim Series events will include only finals, where the best four swimmers in each event will compete in individual races. The competition will be held in 50metre pools, and each leg will be contested over three days (Friday to Sunday).
The athletes’ participation in this exclusive Series will be on an invitation-only basis, comprising the Olympic and World champion, the WR holder and the best in the world ranking in each event. These swimmers will receive both prize money and appearance fees to attend this prestigious event, and will have all their expenses (travel, accommodation and meals) covered.
Moreover, the participating swimmers will be grouped in teams – on a continental or sponsor basis, with each team comprising 24 athletes (12 men, 12 women).
“In its constant effort for innovation and providing new opportunities for the stars of our sport, FINA is very pleased to launch this new competition. It will complete in the best possible way our swimming calendar throughout the year: firstly, this Champions Swim Series; then, our World Championships; and finally our Swimming World Cup circuit, as the year progresses”, considered FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione. “By creating this additional elite competition, FINA will generate a true Swimming show, where sport presentation and Stars’ promotion are key concepts for a successful meet”, added Dr Maglione.
With an extensive and well-developed range of broadcast partners throughout the globe, alongside digital distribution platforms like FINALIVE.TV, and national federations with proven event management capabilities, FINA is uniquely placed to deliver on the promise of the new FINA Champions Swim Series.
Also welcomed by the FINA Technical Swimming Committee and the FINA Athletes Committee, the FINA Champions Swim Series will provide a total of US$3.9 million in prize money, according to the following distribution:
– Individual Prize Money: US$ 2’436’000
– Relay Prize Money: US$ 648’000
– Overall Team Prize Money: US$840’000
“We strongly support this new concept, as the stars of our sport are always happy to have additional opportunities to shine. We will present swimming under a new perspective, and I am sure that spectators on site, TV viewers and digital users around the world will greatly appreciate this outstanding show. Finally, with this unprecedented level of prize money, our swimming stars will definitively be attracted by this circuit”, declared Penny Heyns, Chair of the FINA Athletes Committee.
Press release from FINA