The FINA Swimming World Cup enters its final phase at the famed Water Cube in Beijing (CHN), as the first of three meets in the last cluster will be held starting this weekend, to be followed by meets in Tokyo (9-11 November) and Singapore (15-17 November). All three of these events will be held in 25 m (short course) pools.
Although scoring in each cluster starts over, the overall World Cup scoring continues and since the first two clusters only had two meets each, the final three stops can make the difference. The overall leaders after four events:
1. 218 Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
2. 144 Mitch Larkin (AUS)
3. 126 Anton Chupkov (RUS)
4. 123 Michael Andrew (USA)
5. 117 Blake Pieroni (USA)
1. 204 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE)
2. 162 Katinka Hosszu (HUN)
3. 153 Yuliya Efimova (RUS)
4. 129 Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED)
5. 122 Jianjiahe Wang (CHN)
Morozov, who won the seasonal title in 2016 and Sjostrom, who won last year, are well positioned to win again. However, FINA made a series of changes over the past year that extend prize money for each cluster down to eight places ($50,000-35,000-30,000-20,000-10,000-5,000-4,000-3,000) and the seasonal prizes to three places: $150,000-100,000-50,000.
So it pays to keep swimming. And Hungary’s Hosszu – The Iron Lady – has demonstrated her astonishing fitness during each of the four previous meets and will do so again in Beijing. She has entered 14 of the 16 individual events: 50-100-200-400-800 m Freestyles, 50-100-200 m Backstrokes, 100-200 m Breaststrokes, 50-200 m Butterflys and the 100-200-400 m Medleys.
Through the first four meets, Hosszu had won an amazing 31 total medals (20-3-8), way ahead of everyone else. Sjostrom is second at 21 (15-6-0), followed by Kromowidjojo with 16 (4-8-4). In the men’s division, the biggest medal winner so far is Morozov with 19 (10-4-5), then Andrew with 16 (4-10-2) and Larkin at 15 (12-0-3).
In Beijing, Sjostrom will swim in six events, including the 50-100-200 m Frees, 50-100 m Flys and 100 m Medley.
Among the men, Andrew is entered in eight events, all of 50 or 100 m; Pieroni is the only other American entered in the meet.
There is prize money for each race of $1,500-1,000-500-400-300-200. Look for results here.