Manaudou, Proud & Fratus In Clash Of The Titans As New Format Swimming Cup Gets Under Way At Euro Meet

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Florent Manaudou - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The LEN Swimming Cup returns for a second season at the 22nd Euro Meet in Luxembourg from 24-26 January where a strong line-up including Olympic and world champions will include a battle royale featuring Florent Manaudou, Ben Proud and Bruno Fratus in the 50m free.

Olympic champion Pernille Blume and 2017 world gold medallist Sarah Sjostrom meet in the women’s equivalent while Katinka Hosszu will undertake 15 events at the National Aquatic Centre d’Coque.

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Pernille Blume; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The event, which features 785 athletes from 29 nations, is the first of a four-legged series which will subsequently move on to the Swim Cup in Eindhoven, Netherlands, the Open de France and the Sette Colli in Rome.

Prize money – beyond that offered by the respective hosts – will total 100,000 euros (111,000 US dollars) with the top male and female swimmers earning 16,000 euros (17,765 US dollars).

The final rankings will be based on the two single best performances in terms of FINA points achieved in different legs with the top five men and women entitled to prize money.

It is worth noting the four events are long-established and rather than create a whole new raft of competitions with its subsequent calendar chaos and possible dilution of quality, LEN has taken steps to make the Swimming Cup a sustainable model.

LEN president Paolo Barelli said in a press release issued by the governing body:

“We are happy and proud to offer even more for our wonderful athletes in the LEN Swimming Cup, which are going to be among the highlights of the season, leading to the Olympic Games.

“We involve well-established competitions to our series, this is the best way to serve our athletes and federations and to further promote the top discipline of European Aquatics.”

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Ben Proud – Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

As well as the intriguing tussle in the men’s splash and dash – where they will also be joined by 2016 European silver medallist and fly specialist Andriy Govorov – the women’s equivalent featuring Blume and Sjostrom could be a scorcher, the Swede having helped Energy Standard to overall victory in the inaugural International Swimming League with her winning performance in the skins in Las Vegas.

Govorov will also meet Proud in the 50 fly in which the Ukrainian is the world record-holder and the Briton the 2017 world champion.

Hosszu is a regular attendee at the Euro Meet and the Hungarian will undertake her customary heavy programme days after her seven-year unbeaten run in the 200IM was ended by Canada’s Sydney Pickrem at the FINA Champions Series in Beijing, China.

The triple Olympic champion made the final of all 15 individual events in 2013, winning 11, and she her name features on the start list of 15 races again this year.

ROMANCHUK Mykhaylo UKR Gold Medal 400m Freestyle Men Finals Glasgow 03/08/18 Swimming Tollcross International Swimming Centre LEN European Aquatics Championships 2018 European Championships 2018 Photo Andrea Masini/ Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Mykhailo Romanchuk; Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini/ Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto

Mykhaylo Romanchuk won silver in the 1,500 free at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, beaten by Florian Wellbrock of Germany in a thrilling race in which defending champion Gregorio Paltrinieri came third.

Romanchuk, who clocked 14:37.63 that day, will renew acquaintance with Dan Jervis, who admitted he “buckled under the pressure” in Gwangu after arriving at worlds ranked third in the world with the pair racing over 400 and 1500m.

Also appearing will be world 200IM silver medallist Jeremy Desplanches, world junior 50 and 100m breaststroke record holder Nicolo Martinenghi and Jeremy Stravius, who was part of the French 4x100m free squad that won Olympic gold in 2012.

European 200m free champion Charlotte Bonnet will be joined by her French compatriot Aurelie Muller, the 2017 double open water world champion, who is targeting the 1500m at Tokyo 2020 after failing to make the open water team.

Full entry lists