Swimming: Singapore Swim Stars event promises new, exciting format to thrill fans

SINGAPORE - The competition format of the Singapore Swim Stars, a three-day festival to be held at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, was unveiled on Tuesday.

The Sept 5-7 event will see eight of the best swimmers for each stroke compete in direct finals - doing away with the traditional heats - in the freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke disciplines. Only one winner will be crowned for each event.

In addition, the 50m freestyle, the only 50m event at the meet, will feature a unique competition format. The best four of eight swimmers will face off in a semi-final, before the top two go head-to-head in the grand final.

The star-studded event will feature world champions such as Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (50m fly), Hungary's Katinka Hosszu (200m and 400m individual medley), and Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte, an Olympic gold medallist and world record holder in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Australian world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist Christian Sprenger, who was at the format announcement at Marina Bay Sands, said: "When I was invited to swim in this competition I was very excited. It's different, something that people have never seen before, and I think that's what going to be the biggest draw card."

Added the 28-year-old, who won a gold medal in 100m breaststroke at last year's World Championships: "You'll see the best swimmers in the world, and that's why I want to be involved."

Sprenger, who will be competing in July's Commonwealth Games, also conducted a swim clinic for youths from SportCares Foundation and Sands for Singapore.