Xin Zhou, FINA Media Committee Member (CHN)

Nine Olympic gold medallists, including China's swimming stars Sun Yang and South Africa's Chad Le Clos, as well as 16 World champions, including China's Wang Shun and Fu Yuanhui, are set to take the plunge this weekend in Guangzhou at the brand-new FINA Champions Swim Series.

While Vladimir Morozov of Russia promised he would perform traditional Russian folk and dance and Felipe Lima of Brazil said he would show Samba if they break the world records at the new FINA Champions Swim Series to kick-off on Saturday April 27 in Guangzhou, a southern city of China, Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands and Cate Campbell are promising a great show too.

With a high-profile line-up, a total of 42 Olympic and world silver and bronze medallists will also take part in the competition.

Sun Yang will participate in the men's 400m freestyle on Saturday, where he will likely face stiff competition from Gabriele Detti. The Italian recently set the world's fastest time, almost half a second faster than Sun.

China's backstroke specialist Fu Yuanhui will compete in the women's 50m and 100m backstroke, while Xu Jiayu will take part in the men's 100m and 200m backstroke.

Talking about the expectation of the new meet during the press conference held on Friday April 26, Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) said:

"I expect a great show. This is a new start, a new kind of competition. I really love the show element. I'm going to try to race my best. I really hope to enjoy the big show element and the new format, it is all very exciting!”

Chad Clos said:

“I am very happy to come here to race. We had our national championships three weeks ago in South Africa, so flying here for a fun competition it is a little bit of nice break.”

Vladimir Morozov said:

“It is the World’s top competition so I am very much looking forward to race the 50m freestyle within this context.”

Felipe Lima of Brazil added:

“I am very excited to be here because this new kind of competitions are extremely important for the athletes and the development of the sport. I think it will help make this sport more popular in the world. The competition format will make the swimmers swim faster, maybe more World Records will be broken here.”

Cate Campbell of Australia said:

“It is going to be very exciting for the swimmers, and for the fans. A brand new form of competition. It should be very fast. And we have the best in the world here. I am very excited to race.”

Liu Xiang of China concluded:

“I am very excited to compete on home soil. I will try my best.”

At the heart of this new initiative, the swimmers felt relaxed and confident to show some special performance:

Kromowidjojo of the Netherland said:

“My momentum is swimming. I'm a little afraid of singing in case I win (laugh). But I have 24 hours to train for it. Let's see it tomorrow.”

Vladimir Morozov said joking:

“I promised that I will show you the traditional Russian folk and dance if I break the world record.”

Lima continued:

“I promised I will dance the Samba if I break the world record!”

Campbell added:

“I think the local organisers are in charge of the show. So what I need to focus on is my swimming.”

SCHEDULE available here

Guangzhou is the opening leg of the competition, running from April 27 to 28. Hungary's capital Budapest will stage the second leg on May 11-12, and Indianapolis in the the United States will round off the series from May 31 to June 1.

The FINA Champions Swim Series is a top-notch new event that invites the world's very best swimmers and offers a generous prize purse of almost USD 3M. The Champions Swim Series features a unique competition format where only finals will be held, with four swimmers per final. Each day per leg will hold 14 individual races.

All three meets of the Champions Swim Series serve as qualifying events for both the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.