Chase Kalisz, Penny Oleksiak to Make FINA Champions Series Debuts in Budapest (FULL ROSTERS)

Chase Kalisz will be making his FINA Champions Series debut this weekend in Budapest; Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

A total of 68 swimmers from 23 nations are ready to compete in the second leg of the FINA Champions Swim Series, taking place in Budapest (HUN) on May 11-12, 2019. With 67 Olympic and 175 World Championships (50m) medals between them, these stars promise to put on a great show at the Duna Arena in the Hungarian capital, proving that FINA’s newest event is able to bring together many of the best swimmers on the planet.

With a two-session programme including 14 individual and one relay race per day, the Champions Swim Series is an innovative concept launched by FINA in 2019 to enhance the exposure of its athletes and offer swimming fans a new and dynamic event. For this inaugural year, three cities are on the calendar: Guangzhou (CHN, April 27-28), Budapest (HUN, May 11-12), and Indianapolis (USA, May 31-June 1).

Among the top-athletes participating in the Budapest leg, Emily Seebohm (AUS), Katinka Hosszu (HUN), Federica Pellegrini (ITA), Yulia Efimova (RUS), Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and Dana Vollmer (USA) are clearly the swimmers to watch in the women’s field, while Laszlo Cseh (HUN), Chad Le Clos (RSA), Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and the US quartet of Kevin Cordes, Anthony Ervin, Matt Grevers and Michael Andrew will be the star men to beat.

For the first leg of the Series, in Guangzhou, China topped the medal chart with 29 podium finishes, with Sweden and Russia finishing second and third, respectively. Individually, Sarah Sjostrom was the most prolific winner of the Guangzhou debut of the Series, with four gold and one silver medal.

Following her stunning start to the season, the Swedish star said:

“It is great to have the opportunity to compete with the best swimmers more often. Usually we only compete against each other at the World Championships and the Olympic Games. It is very important for the sport of swimming.”

Also reflecting on the value of the event, Hosszu considered:

“And this new competition may push more swimmers, more stimulus and have more fans, and make swimming more popular and generate more revenue for the sport and the swimmers. The entertainment part of the competition was so good!”

Chad Le Clos recognised a “great racing over the weekend” after the first leg in Guangzhou, while Michael Andrew looks forward to competing in Hungary: “Only one more day before we take off for Budapest! Such a blessing getting to train head to head with the best of the world”.

The FINA Champions Swim Series is an invitation-only event, where Olympic and World Championships medallists, current World Record holders and leaders of the swimming world rankings are given every opportunity to shine. Unlike traditional swimming events, the Series proposes only finals (with four swimmers per final). A new approach to sport presentation and entertainment is also a major part of the event, so spectators on site and fans around the world can enjoy an unforgettable swimming spectacle.

This elite swimming competition distributes a total prize money pot nearing US$ 3 million. In addition, the swimmers will receive over US$ 800,000 in appearance fees, while travel and accommodation expenses are fully covered by FINA.

Anticipating a very successful competition in Budapest, the FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione considered:

“We are very pleased to be back in the magnificent Hungarian capital, host of our memorable 2017 FINA World Championships! This is definitively the right place to stage our brand-new competition, attracting the best swimmers on the planet. Two weeks ago, the initial meet of the Series in Guangzhou, China, was a great achievement. Our athletes expressed their satisfaction and positive feedback on this new FINA initiative, and for us this is the single most important benchmark for success. In Budapest, this will also be our reality, I am sure, featuring the world’s best swimmers in a world class venue.”

The FINA Champions Series will feature a lot of new faces this weekend in Budapest with the likes of Americans Katie Meili, Chase Kalisz and Kevin Cordes making the trip to Hungary. The Budapest crowd will also be able to cheer on their favorite swimmers including Katinka Hosszu, Laszlo Cseh and Kristof Milak. The Hungarians will have ten total swimmers in the meet. Along with the aforementioned three, Boglarka KapasAjna KeselyZsuzsanna JakabosPeter BernekDominik KozmaKatalin Burian and Eszter Bekesi will be representing Hungary at the meet in Budapest.

There will also be eleven Americans in attendance. Along with Meili, Kalisz and Cordes, Michael AndrewAnthony ErvinMolly HannisDana VollmerMatt GreversJacob PebleyJosh Prenot and Justin Ress will be swimming in the meet.

The highlight of the meet will definitely be the men’s 200 breast, which includes the three medalists from the 2016 Olympics (Balandin, Prenot, Chupkov) and the world record holder (Watanabe).

The best race of the women’s meet could come from the 100 free with world record holder Sarah Sjostrom swimming alongside Olympic Champion Penny Oleksiak of Canada and 50 free Olympic Champion Pernille Blume.

As expected, this stop of the FINA Champions Series will include a lot less Asian swimmers and a lot more European swimmers.

The full rosters for Indianapolis can also be seen here.

Men’s Roster:

*Swimmers making FINA Champions Series debut

  • Michael Andrew, USA (50 Breast, 50 Fly)
  • Dmitriy Balandin, KAZ (200 Breast)
  • *Peter Bernek, HUN (400 Free)
  • Anton Chupkov, RUS (100, 200 breast)
  • *Piero Codia, ITA (100 Fly)
  • *Kevin Cordes, USA (100 Breast)
  • *Laszlo Cseh, HUN (100m, 200 Fly)
  • *Jeremy Desplanches, SUI (200 IM)
  • Anthony Ervin, USA (50 Free)
  • *Bruno Fratus, BRA (50 Free)
  • Robert Glinta, ROU (50 Back)
  • Joao Gomes, BRA (50 Breast)
  • Andriy Govorov, UKR (50 Fly)
  • *Matt Grevers, USA (50, 100 Back)
  • *Philip Heintz, GER (200 IM)
  • *Chase Kalisz, USA (200 IM)
  • Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (100 Free, 50, 100 Back)
  • *Dominik Kozma, HUN (200 Free)
  • *Aleksandr Krasnykh, RUS (200, 400 Free)
  • Chad Le Clos, RSA (200 Free, 100, 200 Fly)
  • Felipe Lima, BRA (50 Breast)
  • *Mehdy Metella, FRA (100 Free)
  • *Kristof Milak, HUN (100, 200 Fly)
  • Vladimir Morozov, RUS (50, 100 Free)
  • *Ross Murdoch, GBR (100 Breast)
  • *Jacob Pebley, USA (200 Back)
  • *Josh Prenot, USA (200 Breast)
  • Ben Proud, GBR (50 Free, 50 Fly)
  • Danas Rapsys, LTU (200, 400 Free, 200 Back)
  • *Justin Ress, USA (50 Back)
  • Mykhailo Romanchuk, UKR (400 Free)
  • *Evgeny Rylov, RUS (100, 200 Back)
  • Masato Sakai, JPN (200 Fly)
  • Nicholas Santos, BRA (50 Fly)
  • Fabio Scozzoli, ITA (50, 100 Breast)
  • Pieter Timmers, BEL (100 Free)
  • Wang Shun, CHN (200 IM)
  • Ippei Watanabe, JPN (200 Breast)
  • Xu Jiayu, CHN (100, 200 Back)

Women’s Roster:

*Swimmers making FINA Champions Series debut

  • *Eszter Bekesi, HUN (200 Breast)
  • Pernille Blume, DEN (50, 100 Free, 50 Fly)
  • *Katalin Burian, HUN (200 Back)
  • Imogen Clark, GBR (50 Breast)
  • Georgia Davies, GBR (50, 100 Back)
  • *Yulia Efimova, RUS (50, 100, 200 Breast)
  • *Anastasia Fesikova, RUS (50, 100 Back)
  • Molly Hannis, USA (50, 100, 200 Breast)
  • *Franziska Hentke, GER (200 Fly)
  • *Holly Hibbott, GBR (400 Free)
  • Katinka Hosszu, HUN (100, 200 Back, 200 Fly, 200 IM)
  • *Zsuzsanna Jakabos, HUN (200 IM)
  • *Boglarka Kapas, HUN (200 Fly)
  • *Ajna Kesely, HUN (400 Free)
  • Kim Seoyeong, KOR (200 IM)
  • Li Bingjie, CHN (200, 400 Free)
  • *Etiene Medeiros, BRA (50 Free, 50 Back)
  • *Katie Meili, USA (50, 100, 200 Breast)
  • *Siobhan O’Connor, GBR (100 Breast, 200 IM)
  • *Penny Oleksiak, CAN (100 Free, 50, 100 Fly)
  • *Farida Osman, EGY (50 Free, 50, 100 Fly)
  • *Margherita Panziera, ITA (200 back)
  • *Federica Pellegrini, ITA (100, 200 Free)
  • *Veronika Popova, RUS (200 Free)
  • Emily Seebohm, AUS (50, 100, 200 Back)
  • Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (50, 100, 200 Free, 50, 100 Fly)
  • *Alys Thomas, GBR (200 Fly)
  • Dana Vollmer, USA (100 Fly)
  • Wang Jianjiahe, CHN (400 Free)

Countries Represented:

  1. United States, 11
  2. Hungary, 10
  3. Russia, 8
  4. Great Britain, 7
  5. Brazil, 5
  6. China, 4
  7. Italy, 4
  8. Germany, 2
  9. Japan, 2
  10. Ukraine, 2
  11. Australia, 1
  12. Belgium, 1
  13. Canada, 1
  14. Denmark, 1
  15. Egypt, 1
  16. France, 1
  17. Kazakhstan, 1
  18. Lithuania, 1
  19. Romania, 1
  20. South Africa, 1
  21. South Korea, 1
  22. Sweden, 1
  23. Switzerland, 1