GUANGZHOU, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Nine Olympic gold medallists, including China's swimming star Sun Yang and South Africa's Chad Le Clos, as well as 16 world champions, including China's Wang Shun and Fu Yuanhui, are set to take the plunge this weekend in Guangzhou at the all-new FINA Champions Swim Series.
In a high-profile line-up, a total of 42 Olympic and world silver and bronze medallists will also take part in the competition.
Sun Yang will participate in the men's 400m freestyle on Saturday, where he will likely face stiff competition from Gabriele Detti. The Italian recently set the world's fastest time this year, almost half a second faster than Sun.
China's backstroke specialist Fu Yuanhui will compete in the women's 50m and 100m backstroke, while Xu Jiayu will take part in the men's 100m and 200m backstroke.
The FINA Champions Swim Series is a brand new event that invites the world's top swimmers and has a prize purse of almost 3 million U.S. dollars. It features a unique competition format where only finals will be held, with four swimmers per final. Each leg will have 14 individual races.
Guangzhou is the opening leg of the competition, running from April 27 to 28. Hungary's capital Budapest will stage the second leg on May 11-12, and Indianapolis of the United States will round off the series from May 31 to June 1.
All three meets of the Champions Swim Series serve as qualifying events for both the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.