FINA Communications Department

A total of 68 swimmers from 23 nations are ready to compete in the second leg of the FINA Champions Swim Series [1], taking place in Budapest (HUN) on May 11-12, 2019. With 67 Olympic and 175 World Championships (50m) medals between them, these stars promise to put on a great show at the Duna Arena in the Hungarian capital, proving that FINA’s newest event is able to bring together many of the best swimmers on the planet.

With a two-session programme including 14 individual and one relay race per day, the Champions Swim Series is an innovative concept launched by FINA in 2019 to enhance the exposure of its athletes and offer swimming fans a new and dynamic event. For this inaugural year, three cities are on the calendar: Guangzhou (CHN, April 27-28), Budapest (HUN, May 11-12), and Indianapolis (USA, May 31-June 1).

Among the top-athletes participating in the Budapest leg, Emily Seebohm (AUS), Katinka Hosszu (HUN), Federica Pellegrini (ITA), Yulia Efimova (RUS), Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and Dana Vollmer (USA) are clearly the swimmers to watch in the women’s field, while Laszlo Cseh (HUN), Chad Le Clos (RSA), Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and the US quartet of Kevin Cordes, Anthony Ervin, Matt Grevers and Michael Andrew will be the star men to beat.

For the first leg of the Series, in Guangzhou, China topped the medal chart with 29 podium finishes, with Sweden and Russia finishing second and third, respectively. Individually, Sarah Sjostrom was the most prolific winner of the Guangzhou debut of the Series, with four gold and one silver medal.

Following her stunning start to the season, the Swedish star said: "It is great to have the opportunity to compete with the best swimmers more often. Usually we only compete against each other at the World Championships and the Olympic Games. It is very important for the sport of swimming."

Also reflecting on the value of the event, Hosszu considered: “And this new competition may push more swimmers, more stimulus and have more fans, and make swimming more popular and generate more revenue for the sport and the swimmers. The entertainment part of the competition was so good!"

Chad Le Clos recognised a “great racing over the weekend” after the first leg in Guangzhou, while Michael Andrew looks forward to competing in Hungary: “Only one more day before we take off for Budapest! Such a blessing getting to train head to head with the best of the world”.

The FINA Champions Swim Series is an invitation-only event, where Olympic and World Championships medallists, current World Record holders and leaders of the swimming world rankings are given every opportunity to shine. Unlike traditional swimming events, the Series proposes only finals (with four swimmers per final). A new approach to sport presentation and entertainment is also a major part of the event, so spectators on site and fans around the world can enjoy an unforgettable swimming spectacle.

This elite swimming competition distributes a total prize money pot nearing US$ 3 million. In addition, the swimmers will receive over US$ 800,000 in appearance fees, while travel and accommodation expenses are fully covered by FINA.

Anticipating a very successful competition in Budapest, the FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione considered:

We are very pleased to be back in the magnificent Hungarian capital, host of our memorable 2017 FINA World Championships! This is definitively the right place to stage our brand-new competition, attracting the best swimmers on the planet. Two weeks ago, the initial meet of the Series in Guangzhou, China, was a great achievement. Our athletes expressed their satisfaction and positive feedback on this new FINA initiative, and for us this is the single most important benchmark for success. In Budapest, this will also be our reality, I am sure, featuring the world’s best swimmers in a world class venue.