The three city stops of the Swimming World Cup 2024 will all be qualifying events for the World Aquatics Swimming Championships (25m) – Budapest 2024, making this an ideal international lead-in racing tour to the championships.

The three Asian destinations for the nine days of racing:

The 2024 edition of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup sits into the global swimming calendar between the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (26 July – 11 August), and the World Aquatics Swimming Championships (25m) – Budapest 2024 which is scheduled to take place in December 2024.

Image Source: The Shanghai skyline (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

The compact racing series begins in familiar Shanghai along the People’s Republic of China’s central coast.  International swimming events are no stranger in this bustling metropolis, with China’s biggest city previously hosting five Swimming World Cups, the World Swimming Championships (25m) in 2006 and the World Aquatics Championships in 2011.

Qin Haiyang of China set the pace on this year’s Swimming World Cup tour, going a perfect nine-for-nine across the 50m, 100m, and 200m breaststroke events to win the overall male Swimming World Cup 2023 title.

Image Source: Qin Haiyang celebrates winning the Men's 50m Breaststroke gold (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Qin says racing Swimming World Cup boosted his confidence as he eyes more World titles in Doha – he won three in Fukuoka – this February, followed by his quest for Olympic golds in Paris in July. 

“I had my mind set on winning races and setting World Cup Records. I gained greater experience racing by racing on the Swimming World Cup. I am pleased with my time on the tour and the times I posted in the pool. I’ll be back.”

Added Zhang Yufei, China’s standout butterfly performer who finished 3rd in the overall women’s Swimming World Cup 2023 rankings: “I really like racing Swimming World Cup events. I can’t wait to come back and race the World Cup again.”

Image Source: Zhang Yufei competes in the Women's 200m butterfly (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

This emerging younger generation of medal-winning and World Record-threatening Chinese swimmers has contributed massively to swimming’s popularity in China.

“With rising Chinese talents across the strokes, having the Swimming World Cup come back to Shanghai will not only allow our athletes to chase top performances in front of packed arenas of passionate fans, but they will also help inspire the upcoming generations of swimmers,” said China Swimming Federation President Zhou Jihong. “We couldn’t be more pleased to give athletes like Qin Haiyang, Zhang Yufei, Pan Zhanle and all the international swimmers the chance to compete in Shanghai. It’s going to be a beautiful event.” 

Image Source: Korea's gold medal-winning men's 4x100m Medley relay team of Park Seon-Kwan, Chang Gyu-Cheol, Choi Kyu-Woong and Park Tae-Hwan pose atop the podium at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

From Shanghai, the series heads to Incheon, Republic of Korea, a first-time World Aquatics event host. Bordering the South Korean capital of Seoul, the ultra-modern city of Incheon successfully hosted aquatic sports events at the 17th Asian Games in 2014.

The World Aquatics President noted the importance of mixing in new host cities with experienced ones.

“With our World Cups, we are always looking for the right number of experienced hosts while also bringing our sports events to new cities. While Incheon is a first-time World Aquatics host, Korea has demonstrated excellence in delivering a top experience in major sports events,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam.

Korea’s track record of successful event hosting includes having held three editions of the Swimming World Cup, the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju and the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Image Source: Hwang Sunwoo celebrates his performance in the men's 200 metres freestyle during finals of the 16th World Swimming Championships 25m (Martin Philbey/World Aquatics)

Standout freestyler Hwang Sunwoo of Korea is among those targeting a top performance in Incheon.

"As an athlete, it is meaningful to know that Incheon, Republic of Korea, will host the 2024 Swimming World Cup.

“It has been a while since Korea has hosted an international competition, and I look forward to participating in the meet along with other members of the national team in front of a home crowd."

Image Source: Singapore Tourism Board

Following the Swimming World Cup 2024 stop in Incheon, the series heads to Singapore, the host of the World Aquatics Championships in 2025. Singapore has demonstrated excellence in hosting top-level sports events, including World Cups in five of the six aquatics sports, the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships in 2015 and the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Singapore has also been a regular Swimming World Cup series host, with the Asian island nation having held 13 event editions since 2007.

Image Source: Singapore hosting the Swimming World Cup in 2019 (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

Starting the Swimming World Cup 2024 in Singapore should resonate with teams and athletes.

“Singapore has everything we hope to share with our athletes: world-class facilities, proven experience of hosting events of the highest quality and a comprehensive approach to aquatic sports that runs from elite level to the community,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam.

Historic Highs

Image Source: (L-R) Siobhan Haughey, Thomas Ceccon, Kaylee McKeown, Qin Haiyang, Matthew Sates and Zhang Yufei at the overall awards ceremony at the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup 2023 in Budapest, Hungary (David Balogh/Getty Images)

The performance level has never been higher on the Swimming World Cup, as evidenced by the two World Records and the 33 World Cup Records that were just set during the recently completed Swimming World Cup 2023 tour.

The hard-fought but friendly rivalries in the pool made for an electric event atmosphere, which helped World Aquatics draw record numbers of viewers and fan engagement in 2023. With a stacked global aquatics event calendar, look for fan interest in next year’s Swimming World Cup to reach even greater heights.

The athletes say the Swimming World Cup is a can’t-miss event. Having a USD 1.2 million prize pool (before bonuses) will also help attract stacked swimming fields across the entire tour.

Image Source: Kaylee McKeown in action in the women's 100m backstroke the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup 2023 in Budapest, Hungary (David Balogh/Getty Images)

World Aquatics Swimmer of the Year winner Kaylee McKeown finished the Swimming World Cup with a flourish, setting two World Cup records in Budapest on her way to the Swimming World Cup women’s overall title.

“It's lovely. I’ve had such a great experience racing these Swimming World Cups. I’ve been really relaxed here and that helps me swim a bit sharper,” said the World and Olympic champion. “It’s nice to bring these results back home to Australia; this gives me extra motivation.”