The World Cup is done for another year. No-one starved but neither was this a season of plenty in the short-course pool. In fact, it was the weakest world-cup showcase in the history of such events going back to the days before FINA harnessed it as a potential showcase and pay day for swimmers and swimming. The series limped to an end today in Hong Kong, where there was another very solid effort, of 14:18.53, from Ukraine’s Mikhail Romanchuk in a 1500m free that provided the highlight of the curtain-closer. As to the cup, thank goodness its over. The cup is a failed product that needs removing from the shelf. Why does it not work? Why is it that the bulk of world-class swimmers, coaches and programs opt out not in? Is the money to blame? Should we throw more at it? Is the format to blame? Should it be changed? Is the timing of events in a confused calendar that can with some ease be described as catastrophic (as in “extremely unfortunate or unsuccessful”; awful, lamentable, miserable” and so forth) at fault? What can be done?
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