BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- World champion Xu Jiayu and men's world record holder Liu Xiang will spearhead Team China in the upcoming 2018 FINA Swimming World Cup to be held here from November 2 to 4.
Nicknamed the Water Cube for its distinctive appearance, the National Aquatic Center will host its ninth FINA Swimming World Cup. This year's tournament has attracted a record-high 244 athletes from 27 countries and regions to race for medals across 36 events.
Besides home favorites Xu Jiayu, Liu Xiang, Wang Shun and Fu Yuanhui, the stellar list of entries also includes big names such as three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu and women's world record holder Sarah Sjostrom.
"I will take this event as a chance to challenge myself in the short-course and prepare better for the World Championships in Hangzhou," said Xu, who took five gold medals in the Asian Games earlier this year.
Liu Xiang also had a fruitful Asiad, snatching gold and breaking the world record in the 50m backstroke.
"I had some rest after the Asian Games so I don't expect to repeat what I did in Jakarta. But I will certainly try my best," Liu said.
Sjostrom, who debuted at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, is ambitious about her return to the city.
"My expectations are quite high, because I'm actually leading in the World Cup at the moment. I want to do some fast swimming and try to improve what I've done in the last cluster in Budapest and Eindhoven," the decorated Swedish swimmer said.
The 2018 FINA Swimming World Cup will be the last swimming competition held in the National Aquatic Center, as the Water Cube will soon begin its transformation into the "Ice Cube" in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.