Jos van Kuijeren, FINA Media Committee Member

The 2018 edition of the FINA Swimming World Cup continues Friday September 28 in Eindhoven (NED), with the third leg of the series taking place until Sunday September 30 in the Pieter van den Hoogenband Swimming Stadium. This long course accommodation has been transformed in a magnificent short course pool and there is room for 3500 spectators. It's because of the atmosphere the swimmers love Eindhoven and are eager to compete.

Swimmers from 40 countries and 6 continents (Australia, Asia, Europe, the America's and Africa) make their appearance in Eindhoven together with about 140 competitors from the home country.
Strong field
A very strong field of participants, almost the strongest ever in the Netherland in the last 10 years. That's an easy conclusion looking at the entry list with no less than 13 Olympic champions and 10 world record holders. Let's take a look at their names:

Katinka Hosszu, HUN (100/200 back and 100/200 IM sc, 200/400 IM lc), Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (100 fly/200 free sc, 50/100 free and 50/100 vly lc), Mireia Belmonte, ESP (400/800/1500 free en 400 IM sc), Alia Atkinson, JAM (50/100 breast sc), Etienne Medeiros, BRA (50 back), Kathleen Baker, USA (100 back lc), Ranomi Kromowidjojo, NED (50 free), Chad le Clos, RSA (100/200 fly sc), Mitch Larkin, AUS (200 back) and Vladimir Morozov, RUS (100 IM).

Favourites after Kazan and Doha

The big stars from Kazan and Doha will attend the meet in Eindhoven, namely the 2017 champions Chad Le Clos, from South Africa, and Sarah Sjostrom, representing Sweden. Le Clos is a four-time Olympic medallist (including an epic gold against US Michael Phelps in the 200m fly at the 2012 Games), has been five times on the podium at the World Championships and amassed 11 medals at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). The South African will be fighting for his fifth title in the World Cup, after winning the series in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
Sarah Sjostrom got her first triumph in 2017, but has shone at the highest level at the Olympic Games (three medals), World Championships (12 podium presences), and World Swimming Championships short course (three gold, one silver).
Their battle for the overall title will certainly be challenged by Katinka Hosszu (HUN), in the women's field, and by Russian heroes Vladimir Morozov (winner in 2016) and Anton Chupkov (breastroker) among men. The Magyar great is the best ever in the history of the FINA Swimming World Cup, with five consecutive titles between 2012 and 2016. She is also multi-medallist at the Olympics (4) and World Championships (13 medals in long course and 22 in short course). Hosszu was second in the overall ranking in 2017.

Dutch stars

The home crowd favourites are of course Ranomi Kromowidjojo (28), WR-holder 50 free and of course Femke Heemskerk. Coached by Marcel Wouda the 31-year old woman still enjoys competitive swimming, especially World Cup Series. Other Dutch favourites are Jesse Puts (World champion 50 free in Windsor 2016), Arno Kamminga (very talented breastroker) and Kira Toussaint (specialist in 50 and 100 backstroke)
The FINA Swimming World Cup will distribute over US$ 2.5 million in prize money to the best swimmers of competition, and is contested over three clusters. In 2018, for the first time, the series is held in both 50m and 25m-pool.

The complete calendar of the 2018 FINA Swimming World Cup is as follows:

Cluster 1 (50m-pool)
1. Kazan (RUS) - September 7-9
2. Doha (QAT) - September 13-15

Cluster 2 (25m-pool)
3. Eindhoven (NED) - September 28-30
4. Budapest (HUN) - October 4-6

Cluster 3 (25m-pool)
5. Beijing (CHN) - November 2-4
6. Tokyo (JPN) - November 9-11
7. Singapore (SGP) - November 15-17