A Requiem Season For An Ailing World Cup & Making Quantity King & Queen Over Quality

Katinka Hosszu - by Patrick B. Kraemer

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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Barnabas Mandi

Dear Craig,
At first to tell the truth I’m sure nearly nobody [rest of comment edited out – too many false assumptions that would require a lengthy reply, which is not merited in this case]

Craig Lord

Dear Barnabas,
You introduce three falsehoods and make false assumptions in your comment, which is why it is edited and will not see the light of day here (arguing that 3 golds and a silver tops four golds sums it up – silly and really not worth my energy nor will I allow such nonsense to sit here). Please refrain. By all means recast your thoughts into a comment that makes no assumption that you know my mind and the minds of others. You don’t. Best stick to facts, what you know and your opinion of that. I’m not interested in your opinion on things you’re not qualified to comment on; such as my mind. You also miss the point: a world cup cannot be about one swimmer if it is to be to the benefit of a whole sport.


The question is: what can you do to a sport that’s anything but spectator friendly to make it attract the spectators during off-season racing?
I would watch Adam Peaty smash faces with ridiculous swims during the entire year but it’s just not humanly possible. We have to live with what we have due to the nature of the sport. One or two major showcase a year and one super big one in every 4 years is what we and the swimmers get. Sadly.

Craig Lord

ITR, I’ll be bringing you some suggestions this week. There are better ways to live with what swimming has, and what it has is a good thing and need not be a relative-mediocre offering in which the speediest trainer gets the big prize. Five years, same story. Boring. Very much so.

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