The 2017 Sao Paulo World Para Swimming World Series gets underway in Brazil on Friday (21 April) complete with some of the biggest names in Para swimming.
It will be the second of five World Series competitions to take place ahead of the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City from 30 September- 6 October.
More than 130 athletes from around the world will compete. Here are five reasons to follow the competition, which runs until Sunday (23 April).
Return of the king
Making his highly anticipated season debut in the men’s S5 and SB4 is Brazil’s very own Daniel Dias. The multiple Paralympic champion added four titles to his collection at his home Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, cementing his legend status.
All eyes will be on Dias as he builds towards the defence of six world titles in Mexico City.
Brazil’s best on display
As well as Dias, nearly all of Brazil’s other medallists from Rio 2016 will line-up. That includes Andre Brasil in the men’s S10 who left Rio with two silver and two bronze medals, and Joana Silva who grabbed a silver and bronze in the women’s S5.
Americas got talent
Swimmers from Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Canada will compete in Sao Paulo, showing the attraction of the event for countries from the region. Peru will also send two swimmers, perhaps a sign of their further development ahead of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games.
Festival of Para sport
Alongside the swimming World Series, more than 180 track and field athletes will be competing at the same time in the World Para Athletics Grand Prix. Eighteen medallists from Rio 2016 are set to compete, including five of Brazil’s gold medallists – Petrucio Ferreira dos Santos, Daniel Martins, Alessandro Silva, Claudiney Batista dos Santos and Ricardo Costa de Oliveira.
Points on offer
Valuable World Series points are on offer for the best male and female athlete rankings. After the first competition in Copenhagen, Denmark, in March, Norway’s Sarah Louise Rung leads the women’s standings. The USA’s Evan Austin tops the men’s. With neither set to compete in Sao Paulo there could be new points leaders by the end of the week.
For more information about the World Series, visit World Para Swimming's website.