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Boyle Revives Rivalry with European Stars in FINA World Cup

World champion Lauren Boyle returns to international competition against the might of Europe when she contests the Asia leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup starting in Singapore overnight.

Boyle and Australian-based Kiwi Cameron Simpson will contest the three Asian venues that conclude the seven-stop series over the next 10 days.

The financial incentives have lured the best Europeans for the series, especially those who have been regular competitors over the previous five legs in Europe and the Middle East, as they chase the overall honours. A change in the format this year sees a significant pot of money catered to each cluster. Singapore kicks off the first leg of the Asian cluster along with China and Japan, with overall winners standing to share total prize money of USD$300,000.

It means that Boyle, who had a limited build-up after a break following the World Championships in August, will get no chance to quietly build into the series.

She faces the star Spanish pair of Mireia Belmonte and Melanie Costa, Germany’s Sarah Kohler and Britain’s Hannah Miley in the 800m freestyle tomorrow.

The Kiwi won this event at the 2012 short course world championships and the World Cup meet in Eindhoven following the world championships, where she broke the New Zealand record in 8:01.22. She then finished second to Belmonte the same week in Berlin where the Spaniard dipped under the eight minute mark to set a new short course world record.

Boyle will also contest the 200m freestyle tomorrow where just making the final will be a feat in a field including last year’s overall World Cup winner Katinka Hosszu (HUN), short course world champion Costa, 100m world medallist Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), and super-talented young Australian Emma McKeon.

Simpson will race the 100m freestyle overnight and the 50m freestyle on the second day of competition. He comes up against double short course world champion Vladamir Morozov (RUS), butterfly world medallist Konrad Czerniak (POL), veteran American Anthony Ervin - the former Olympic and world champion, and Olympic relay medallist Tommaso D’Orsogna (AUS).

Other stars competing include Dutch sensation Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 23, who shot to fame after winning the freestyle double over 50m and 100m at last year's London Olympics.

Her rival Aliaksandra Gerasimenya of Belarus, who took silver in both events at London, is also in action along with world championship medallist Francesca Halsall (GBR).

South Africa's Chad le Clos, the Olympic 200m butterfly champion, heads the men's field which also includes Australia's 100m breaststroke world champion Christian Sprenger.

The finals run overnight (NZ time). The Asian series runs on November 5 and 6 in Singapore, before moving to Tokyo on November 9 and 10, and Beijing November 13-14.

You can watch the Kiwi swimmers competing live HERE