Great Britain, Brazil dominate the pool in Sheffield

Gomes Santiago and Araujo set two world records* each as Brazil and the hosts collect 15 out of 24 golds in the third leg of Citi Para Swimming World Series 20 Mar 2023
Sixteen-year-old William Ellard smashed his personal best in the men’s 100m freestyle S14 race for his first-ever World Series gold medal.
Sixteen-year-old William Ellard smashed his personal best in the men’s 100m freestyle S14 race for his first-ever World Series gold medal.
ⒸMorgan Harlow
By Victor Pereira | For World Para Swimming

Great Britain and Brazil grabbed the spotlight and maximum medals in the third leg of the Citi Para Swimming World Series that took place in Sheffield, Great Britain this weekend (16-19 March). 

The hosts assured a place on the podium on all four days of competition at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, led by two-time Paralympic champion Maisie Summers-Newton and William Ellard with two gold medals each.

Summers-Newton (S6) clocked close to her own world-record time to grab gold in the women’s 200m medley in a time of 2:57.19 and topped the points scores in the 100m breaststroke getting 987 points in 1:32.54.

Ellard (S14), meanwhile, smashed his personal best in the men’s 100m freestyle touching the wall in 51.97 and grabbing his first-ever World Series gold medal. The 16-year-old also bagged a gold in the 200m freestyle in a one-two British podium with his teammate Jordan Catchpole.

This was not the only one-two British podium at Great Britain 2023.

In the women’s 100m backstroke, 17-year-old swimmer Poppy Maskill (S14) claimed the top step of the podium in 1:07.13 edging her compatriot Paralympic champion Bethany Firth (S14) into silver.

In the women’s 200m freestyle, it was Firth’s turn to grab the gold medal after touching the wall in 2:09.45, almost three seconds ahead Jessica-Jane Applegate (S14) who got the silver.

Tough Brazilians   

After topping the medals table in the previous leg of the Citi World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy last week, Brazilian swimmers arrived in Sheffield among the strongest medal contenders. And they confirmed that position on every single day of competition.

One-two podiums were not a Great Britain exclusivity as the Brazilian also starred one in the women’s 50m freestyle with Maria Carolina Gomes Santiago (S12) taking the gold in 26.79 ahead of countrywoman Cecilia Araujo (S8).

Three-time Paralympic champion Gomes Santiago displayed an amazing performance in Sheffield to grab three more golds, two silvers, and set two new world records*.

Santiago dominated the sprint races in the butterfly and breaststroke events. In the butterfly race, she touched the wall in 29.19 lowering the previous world record in 30 hundredths while, in the breaststroke, she clocked in 33.99, 11 hundredths below the world record. The previous marks in both the events were held by Germany’s Elena Krawzow.

The 37-year-old also won the 100m freestyle and finished second in the 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke. 

Brazil also claimed the top of the podium in three men's races with Gabriel Araujo (S2) triumphing in the 50m butterfly and 150m medley. In addition, Araujo also broke his own world record* in both events clocking 53.80 and 3:23.83, respectively. 

Alan Basilio (S4) completed the list of Brazilian golden swimmers after winning the 50m freestyle.

Argentina and Japan were among the other visitors who appeared the most at the podium.

Inaki Basiloff (S7) was responsible for all Argentinian gold medals winning the 200m medley, 400m freestyle, and 100m butterfly in which he also set a new world record* with a time of 1:06:04.

Japan picked three gold medals on the second day of competition. Keiichi Kimura (S11) won the men’s 50m breaststroke, while Naohide Yamaguchi (S14) finished first in the men’s 100m breaststroke, and Tomomi Ishiura (S11) smashed the world record* in the women’s 50m backstroke (36.25).

Action shifts to USA in April 

After two legs in as many weeks, the Citi Para Swimming World Series resumes in April after a break.

USA are the next hosts as the competition arrives in Minneapolis for the first time from 20 to 22 April followed by Singapore receiving the World Series starting on 29 April. 

Germany and France welcome the event in May while Mexico will host the World Series in October with a final stop yet to be confirmed in November.

Athletes take part in multi-class races and their results in each series are calculated using a standardised World Para Swimming points system. At the end of a World Series’ season, the best female and male swimmers are awarded based on their rankings. Last year, Colombia’s Carlos Serrano and Germany’s Tanja Scholz were the winners of the top male and female categories.

*World records are subject to ratification by World Para Swimming