Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

496 swimmers from 46 nations were included in FINA’s annual Top 25 pool swimmers in 2014.

When the best open water swimming nations (see country rankings below from the 2013 FINA World Championships) are compared with the 2014 world individual pool swimmer rankings, there are patterns, similarities and differences:

* Brazil is much stronger in the open water (#1) than in the pool (#8).
* Japan is much stronger in the pool (#2) than in the open water (#18).
* Australia is much stronger in the pool (#3) than in the open water (#13).
* China is relatively stronger in the pool (#5) than in the open water (#14).
* USA is the only nation in the top 3 in both the pool (#1) and open water (#3).
* Germany is in the top 10 in both the pool (#10) and open water (#2).
* Italy holds the relatively same rankings in both the pool (#6) and in the open water (#5).
* Canada holds the relatively same rankings in both the pool (#9) and in the open water (#7).
* Russia holds the relatively same rankings in both the pool (#7) and in the open water (#9).
* New Zealand holds the relatively same rankings in the pool (#20) and in the open water (#15).
* Ukraine holds the relatively same rankings in the pool (#22) and in the open water (#21).
* France holds somewhat similar rankings in both the pool (#12) and in the open water (#7).
* Many countries have top representatives in the pool, but are non-existent in the open water (e.g., South Korea, Sweden, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Austria, Bahamas, Chile, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Jamaica, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Switzerland and Vietnam).

The FINA open water swimming ranking system at the FINA World Championships are based on the finishes of the top swimmers at the 5 km, 10 km, and 25 km open water competitions (excluding the 5 km Team Pursuit).

Riding on the backs of their dynamic duo of Poliana Okimoto and Ana Marcela Cunha [shown above], Brazil received the 2013 Championships Trophy for the first time in history. Helped by the emerging strength of the Brazilian men too, the Brazilian team strength from the 5 km spring to the 25 km marathon proved the only way possible to topple the perennially strong German team led by Thomas Lurz.

But the 5 km team event is not taken into account for the Team trophy…a Championships Trophy would have Brazil and Germany tied with 112 points,” explains Ricardo Ratto, an Olympic marathon swimming official.

The final results of the 2013 Championships Trophy:

1. Brazil 98
2. Germany 94
3. United States 65
4. Greece 50
5. Italy 47
6. Tunisia 32
7. France 30
7. Canada 30
9. Russia 23
10. Belgium 18
11. South Africa 17
12. Hungary 15
13. Australia 13
14. China 12
15. New Zealand 8
15. Argentina 8
15. Netherlands 8
18. Spain 6
18. Ecuador 6
18. Japan 6
21. Czech Republic 3
21. Ukraine 3
23. Israel 2

A summary of the Top 25 pool swimming rankings is here:

By Nation and Gender:
1. USA (82) – 40 males, 42 females
2. Japan (55) – 37 males, 18 females
3. Australia (50) – 22 males, 28 females
4. Great Britain (41) – 23 males, 18 females
5. China (31) – 12 males, 19 females
6. Italy (30) – 15 males, 15 females
7. Russia (23) – 16 males, 7 females
8. Brazil (20) – 17 males, 3 females
9. Canada (18) – 2 males, 16 females
10. Germany (17) – 12 males, 5 females
11. Hungary (15) – 10 males, 5 females
12. France (13) – 8 males, 5 females
13. Spain (13) – 3 males, 10 females
14. Netherlands (10) – 4 males, 6 females
15. South Africa (8) – 7 males, 1 female
16. Denmark (6) – 1 male, 5 females
17. South Korea (6) – 1 male, 5 females
18. Czech Republic (5) – 2 males, 3 females
19. Sweden (5) – 1 male, 4 females
20. New Zealand (4) – 2 males, 2 females
21. Poland (4) – 3 males, 1 female
22. Ukraine (4) – 2 males, 2 females
23. Belarus (3) – 2 males, 1 female
24. Belgium (3) – 2 males, 1 female
25. Greece (2) – 2 males
26. Israel (2) – 1 male, 1 female
27. Kazakhstan (2) – 1 male, 1 female
28. Lithuania (2) – 1 male, 1 female
29. Serbia (2) – 2 males
30. Singapore (2) – 1 male, 1 female
31. Slovenia (2) – 1 male, 1 female
32. Austria (1) – 1 female
33. Bahamas (1) – 1 female
34. Chile (1) – 1 female
35. Ecuador (1) – 1 female
36. Egypt (1) – 1 male
37. Faroe Islands (1) – 1 male
38. Finland (1) – 1 male
39. Iceland (1) – 1 male
40. Ireland (1) – 1 female
41. Jamaica (1) – 1 female
42. Liechtenstein (1) – 1 female
43. Slovakia (1) – 1 male
44. Switzerland (1) – 1 female
45. Venezuela (1) – 1 female
46. Vietnam (1) – 1 female

Pool Rankings By Continent:

* Africa: 2 nations, 9 swimmers (8 males, 1 female)
* Americas: 8 nations, 125 swimmers (59 males, 66 females)
* Asia: 6 nations, 97 swimmers (52 males, 45 females)
* Europe: 28 nations, 210 swimmers (115 males, 95 females)
* Oceania: 2 nations, 54 swimmers (24 males, 30 females)

Pool Rankings By Most Top 25 Rankings:

Nations with the most top-25 rankings…
* Total: USA (150), Australia (91), Great Britain (82), Japan (81), China (48)
* Males: USA (76), Japan (54), Great Britain (40), Australia (40)
* Females: USA (74), Australia (51), Great Britain (42)

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