Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent JPN)

The FINA Swimming World Cup, which decides the world's fastest in the short course, is stopping in Tokyo (JPN) from November 9-11 as this year's edition and the swimmers have already showen high-level performances for the world's audience.

Russian Vladimir Morozov set a short course World Record in the 100m IM at the Eindhoven stage. In addition, he retained good results in Budapest and was Cluster 2's overall winner.

In the fourth leg in Budapest, 16-year-old Chinese Wang Jianjiahe (400m freestyle), 38-year-old Brazilian veteran Nicholas Santos (50m butterfly) and Jamaican Alia Atkinson (50m breaststroke) also established World Records.

In Beijing, the latest leg in the circuit which was held a week ago, Swedish star Sarah Sjostrom, who currently tops the World Cup ranking and Hungary's Katinka Hosszu also accumulated amazing results.

The second leg of Cluster 3, the 6th leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup in fact, will be held at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center. A press conference took place today, November 7, prior to the event, using TV Asahi hall.

The press conference included first-class swimmers, Morozov, Sjostrom, Yuliya Efimova (RUS), Atkinson and Rio 2016 champion Mack Horton (AUS) but also 22-year-old Blake Pieroni (USA) who earned a lot of points to be 6th in the overall SWC ranking so far.

Japanese competitors Ippei Watanabe, World record holder of the 200m breaststroke and famous Rikako Ikee took part in this conference.

Speaking at the conference, Sjostrom said:

"I am happy that I could come to Tokyo again. My condition is better than in Beijing, so I'd like to swim faster. I think that it will be a tough race but I will do my best", she said.

Atkinson, who was left with a good impression of Tokyo after she established a World Record two years, talked about her enthusiasm for the 6th leg.

"This is my fifth time in Tokyo, and I like Japan including its culture. In my races, I want to try my best and play an active part. I am very much looking forward to the 2020 Olympic Games to be held here in Tokyo", Atkinson said.

Both Japanese hero and heroine commented:

"I am not actually in good shape because I didn't train enough since I started practicing after my short holiday. As you know, the world's fastest swimmers are coming here and I will try my best to win in Tokyo in the 200m breaststroke as my favourite", Ippei said.

"World's top swimmers have now gathered in Tokyo, so I would like to show what I can do and prove myself in front of the audience. I think it would be a good opportunity to learn various things, then I will try my best", Ikee said.

At the end of the press conference, athletes enjoyed interacting by taking photos with fans and signing for them.