Two European rounds of the FINA World Cup, one set for Eindhoven and another in Berlin, are due to be staged immediately after the World Championships in Barcelona this summer to catch the wave of fit athletes in peak race form before they depart for summer breaks.
The World Cup series has longed suffered from poor attendance when it comes to attracting quality fields. Many rounds of the cup are largely domestic events with a sprinkling of world-class swimmers from leading nations either dipping in to selected rounds to test themselves at a time of training or taking on the series in pursuit of the $100,000 prize available to best man and best woman on a points score.
Now, FINA has heeded the advice of coaches and swimmers and is set to hold cup events in Eindhoven on August 7-8 and Berlin on August 10-11. The World Championships come to an end in Barcelona on August 4, with many of the world's best likely to want to capitalise on peak long-course form in the short-course pool.
After the first two European rounds the World Cup is scheduled to switch back to its traditional pattern, with rounds in Moscow, Dubai, Doha, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing set to be staged from October onwards. The changes mark the end of Stockholm's long association with the series.