Lausanne (SUI), October 17, 2007 – The city of Durban, in South Africa, will open on October 19-20 the 2007 FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup, a six-week circuit that will be held in seven cities in the five continents. As with previous editions, participating swimmers will square-off in 25m pools on five continents, beginning with Africa, and followed by Asia, Oceania, Europe, and then Americas.
The meet schedule is as follows:
• October 19-20 in Durban (RSA)
• October 27-28 in Singapore (SIN)
• November 2-3 in Sydney (AUS)
• November 9-10 in Moscow (RUS)
• November 13-14 in Stockholm (SWE)
• November 17-18 in Berlin (GER)
• November 23-25 in Belo Horizonte (BRA).
Meet by meet
The World Cup starts in Durban (RSA) at the Kings Aquatic Centre, with the confirmed presence of 16 countries. Stars like Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS), Randall Bal (USA), Therese Alshammar (SWE), Sophie Edington (AUS) or Melissa Corfe (RSA) will highlight this rendezvous with their performances. Swimming South Africa President Jace Naidoo underlines the important of this meet in Durban: “The FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup event is a key aspect for our swimmers as they get the chance of international competition in the build up to next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing”.
Next stop is Singapore, for the first time hosting a leg of the World Cup. The competition will take place at the Singapore Sports School Swimming Complex and will display not only the country’s biggest stars (such as Tao Li and Bryan Tay) but also top-swimmers from the remaining organisers of the World Cup. The American Natalie Coughlin is also confirmed in the participants’ list.
Sydney, in Australia, will be the third meet of the series. At the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre - considered one of the fastest pools in the planet -, local stars such as Grant Hackett, Jodie Henry, Leisel Jones, Lisbeth Lenton and Matt Welsh will fight with the rest of the world for the top-positions of the 25m hierarchy, some months before the major short course rendezvous of 2008, the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Manchester (GBR) next April.
The Olympiisky pool in Moscow (RUS) – where were held the 2002 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) – will be ideal scenario for the fourth and first European leg of the World Cup. Besides the best Russian swimmers, the international challengers will do their best to accumulate points for the overall ranking of the World Cup.
Also a traditional organiser, Stockholm (SWE) and its Eriksdalsbadet complex will welcome the best swimmers of the world for the fifth stop of the circuit. The local heroes – Therese Alshammar, Josefin Lillhage, Stefan Nystrand, Lars Frolander and Anna-Karin Kammerling – will face strong contenders for the victory in the 34 events of the meet.
The “Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europapark (SSE)” in Berlin (GER) closes the European section of the World Cup and, as usual, will be the stage for great performances. Several world records were established in this venue over the latest years and the German swimmers attending the meet – among them, Britta Steffen, Antje Buschschulte, Thomas Rupprath and Steffen Driesen – are expected to shine in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
The 2007 World Cup finishes in Belo Horizonte (BRA) at the Minas Tênis Clube complex and will display the decisive fights for the best placings in the overall ranking. Kaio Almeida and company will welcome the international stars in a traditional warm Brazilian hospitality.
The SWC has developed a reputation for drawing many of the best swimmers in the world who compete for significant cash prizes. A total of US$360,000 will be distributed to the winners, while an additional maximum of US$50,000 is reserved for world record breakers. The overall SWC winners receive US$100,000, while those placing second and third place overall receive US$50,000 and US$30,000 respectively. But sums ranging from US$500 to US$1,500 are also distributed to the winners of each of the 34 races at all seven meets, which gives an additional amount of US$714,000 (US$102,000 per meet).
photos Janos Schmidt