FINA Communications Department

Whether the 2020 edition of the FINA Champions Swim Series is their first or second experience in the competition, athletes from around the world continue to show their appreciation for the format, the competition schedule and the entertainment programme associated with this successful event. After the first meet of the Series, in Shenzhen (CHN, January 14-15), swimming stars are today travelling to the Chinese capital, Beijing, for the second meet of the Series. During two days, on January 18-19, they will continue competing in thrilling races, enjoying the additional opportunity to meet the top-athletes of the planet in this Olympic year.

Here is what our Stars say about the 2020 FINA Champions Swim Series: 

Kira Toussaint (NED): 

“I like the direct-final format because I think people swim faster races and have additional time to rest. You can even still do some training in the morning while the final takes place in the evening. That's what I like about it, that you can easily fit it in your training schedule” 

Liu Xiang (CHN): 

"The reason I like the one-final competition format is because it is full of surprise and breath-taking excitement. For us, the 50m races only allow one or two breaths. Everything must be done perfectly, without any error, and we have to give it all. We have to be 100 percent concentrate on that"

Jeanette Ottesen (DEN):

“In 2019, everybody said it was a great event! They all had a lot of fun and considered the competition quite interesting… So, I wanted also to come, to try it. Only four swimmers in a final, a format that not only fits the swimmers but is also quite good for the spectators. I was a bit disappointed for not being invited, but this year I am here…”

Katinka Hosszu (HUN):

“I think we're not really used to such a fast field in January. So it's definitely exciting, everyone needs to get ready in these days in January. I was really happy with some races and respective times”

Andrei Minakov (RUS): 

“I did not compete since last autumn, I just stayed at home and did not go to any competitions. I was just swimming, practicing and recovering. So, I was full of energy coming here. I did specific preparation work for the Champions Swim Series. This competition is incredible! Thank you for the unique opportunity to compete here” 

Xu Jiayu (CHN): 

"I enjoy the competition format with the best swimmers in the world! It is great to have them in one race, outside the frame of the World Championships and Olympics. All the victories will be the foundation to the Tokyo Games. In the next leg in Beijing, we will also have hard battles" 

Sun Yang (CHN):

“I take this competition as an additional opportunity to train and set-up successful routines for my swimming”

Kristian Gkolomeev (GRE):

“I love this competition, the atmosphere in the pool, the sport presentation, and the format of the races. Everything is very well organised. I especially like the four swimmers in the final, the pool looks totally different and this gives another dimension to our sport! We all win with this new concept and this is good for the swimmers. I hope I can be invited for the 2021 edition!”

Ajna Kesely (HUN): 

“Everything was very good. This is the first and very important first step before Olympics. And I think this timing in January is really good. So, I also hope performances will be good”

Elena di Liddo (ITA): 

“I like the one-final competition format, even if I am quite used to the preliminary, semi-final and final programme”

Martina Carraro (ITA):

“It's cool to have four swimmers in the final because it's a different type of competition. It is new and I'm happy about it”

Siobhan Haughey (HKG): 

“I did not expect to swim this fast at the beginning of the season. It is very funny to swim in the relay with swimmers from different countries, and being able to work together. We had fun and enjoyed the race”

Michael Andrew (USA):

“It is a very fun format, where we are able to swim with the fastest four swimmers in the world and get closer to the Tokyo Olympic Games”

Alia Atkinson (JAM): 

“Being the beginning of 2020, and given the field of athletes here, this competition is important to see where I am, and also to measure what can I succeed at the Olympics – what is in reach or not” 

Nicholas Santos (BRA): 

“Thank you FINA for the invitation. It’s my second time in the Series and I sincerely loved the inaugural edition in 2019. I swam pretty fast, I even improved a South American record, so I hope I can still do it better this year. I really like the format of the Series, with four swimmers per race and direct finals – there is no place for mistakes!”