The USA Swimming national governing body has opted to double the amount of prize money it will award to competitors in the 2014-15 edition of its Grand Prix Series.
The six-event series, which is title sponsored by swimwear manufacturer Arena, will offer a total of $300,000 (€240,300) in prize money. Swimmers will earn monetary rewards for finishing in the top three places during all individual Olympic events across the series.
First-placed swimmers will win $1,000, those finishing second will be rewarded with $600 and athletes that place third will win $200.
The overall male and female winners of the season-long series will each earn a $10,000 bonus reward. In addition, German automotive manufacturer BMW, an official partner of USA Swimming, will award a one-year lease of a BMW vehicle to the highest-scoring eligible male and female US swimmers.
Swimmers with remaining National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility will not be able to accept prize money.
Frank Busch, USA Swimming’s national team director, said: “Continuing to develop a series in America with elite-level competition is critical as we build toward the 2016 Olympic Games. Our role at USA Swimming is to provide high-performance opportunities for our athletes and bring the sport even closer to those who may not have experienced it and also to our biggest supporters. The Grand Prix Series helps to accomplish these goals.”
US swimmer Conor Dwyer (pictured), who won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay team event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, finished as the men’s overall winner during the 2013-14 series. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the women’s title.
The 2014-15 Grand Prix Series gets underway in Minneapolis on November 20-22, travelling to Austin, Orlando, Mesa and Charlotte before concluding in Santa Clara on June 18-21.