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Berlin returns to Swimming World Cup as format switched

The International Aquatics Federation (FINA) has confirmed the return of Berlin to its Swimming World Cup calendar, with the 2016 season set to switch to the short course format of the sport.

For 2016, the annual series will return to the 25m-pool, and will comprise nine meets, with one more European stop than in 2015, distributed into three clusters. Each meet will include 34 individual events on the two-day programme.

Berlin had been a stop on the World Cup calendar from 1998 up until the 2014 series and was renowned for producing some of the fastest racing conditions on the circuit. It has been provisionally confirmed for a leg in the European cluster on August 30-31, with the remainder of the 2015 calendar staying intact.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the world’s elite swimmers will travel to Paris-Chartres in France to compete in the initial leg of the series on August 26-27 before heading to the German capital. The first cluster will then conclude with a last European meet in Moscow, Russia.

The competition will then proceed to the second cluster with events in Beijing (China), Dubai (UAE) and Doha (Qatar). The 2016 World Cup will come to an end in Asia with three stops in Singapore, Tokyo (Japan) and finally Hong Kong on October 29-30. The 2016 World Cup will distribute over $2m (€1.85m) in prize money making it the world’s richest annual swimming series.

FINA president Julio Maglione said: “The calendar of this 2016 edition of the Swimming World Cup is definitely attractive as we are working with prestigious hosts and top-level venues. FINA will ensure that everything is in place to welcome the world’s best swimming athletes to recognise and pay tribute to their continuous efforts and outstanding performances.

“The FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup has grown in importance within the international aquatic calendar and the competition has become a key yearly rendezvous tailored around regional clusters which give the importunity to athletes all over the world to take part.”

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (pictured) and Cameron Van Der Burgh of South Africa were the overall winners of the 2015 World Cup.