From 2019, elite swimming stars will have the opportunity to shine in a brand new FINA competition, the “FINA Champions Swim Series”, a circuit gathering the top-athletes of the Sport. With an original competition format including only finals of four swimmers, the Series will very soon be a milestone in the FINA calendar.


The main goals of this new international gathering are to give high-level swimmers increased attention and additional occasions to compete, thus generating stronger international TV, digital and media interest, and creating another world-class platform for Swimming on a yearly basis.


The Series will be an exceptional showcase for the sport and its top swimmers, by combining pure competition, together with innovative sports presentation and entertainment. It will comprise events of 50m, 100m and 200m in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly (as well as the 400m free and 200m IM), in addition to relay races. The competition will be held in 50-metre pools.

The concept is to put on a unique show, ensuring a must-have event for cities, broadcasters and sponsors, creating a new star-culture in the ever-changing world of Swimming. A dynamic and innovative presentation with multiple entertainment elements will alternate with thrilling races in the water. Interviews with Stars, music, lighting, celebrities, DJ music, video and other visual effects will be put in place to stage a unique, self-financing elite swimming event.


The athletes’ participation in this exclusive Series will be on an invitation-only basis, comprising the Olympic and World medallists, the WR holder and the best in the world rankings in each event. These swimmers will receive both prize money and appearance fees to attend this prestigious event, and will have all their expenses (travel, accommodation and meals) covered.


With an extensive and well-developed range of broadcast partners throughout the globe, alongside digital distribution platforms like FINALIVE.TV, and national federations with proven event management capabilities, FINA is uniquely placed to deliver an unforgettable circuit of the “FINA Champions Swim Series”.

For 2019, the first event will take place in Guangzhou, China, on April 27-28; Budapest, the Hungarian capital, will follow on May 11-12; and Indianapolis, in the USA, will close this inaugural edition on May 31-June 1. All the Series meets will serve as qualifying events for both the FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


Attractive prize money will be paid in each individual race (1st place – US$ 10’000; 2nd place – US$ 8’000; 3rd place – US$ 6’000; 4th place – US$ 5’000) and in relay competition (1st – US$ 16’000; 2nd – US$ 12’000; 3rd – US$ 8’000; 4th and following – US$ 2’000). A US$ 20’000 bonus will be provided for each new World Record established during the competition.


The original competition format, alongside the show we want to create around swimming and the very attractive prize money distribution are important elements characterising the new ‘Champions Swim Series’. With the superb performances of our Stars, we will provide a new image of Swimming to the world”, considered FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione. “FINA is very happy with the level of entries so far for this prestigious new Series. It shows that this additional opportunity to compete is deemed important for our Stars. The ‘Champions Swim Series’ will definitively allow our Aquatic fans to perceive Swimming in a new way”, Dr Maglione also said.