Hodge, Jincheng steal show in season openerParalympic star propels hosts Australia to top of the medal standings with 11 gold medals, while Jincheng was joined by Singapore's star Yip Pin Xiu 20 Feb 2023
Local star Timothy Hodge stole the limelight with triple gold as athletes celebrated their return to action in the season-opening Citi Para Swimming World Series Australia 2023 held from 17 to 19 February (Friday to Sunday).
Hodge (S9) claimed the gold medal in the men’s 100m backstroke, 400m freestyle, and 200m medley events, and propelled hosts Australia to top of the medal standings with 11 gold medals.
Hodge's heroics in the Pool was matched by China’s Guo Jincheng (S5) who claimed three gold medals too, in men’s sprint races – 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke.
“I got a few little technical things to work on returning home but I’m very happy with where I’m at in my schedule over going into the Worlds [Para Swimming World Championships Manchester 2023] and then eventually Paris [2024 Paralympic Games],” said the 22-year-old from New South Wales, who also grabbed two silver medals (men’s 50m backstroke and 100m butterfly), in addition to two bronze medals (men’s 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle).
Among other winners for the hosts were Jake Michel (SB14), the men’s 50m and 100m breaststroke champion, and Rowan Crothers (S10) who got a gold in the 100m freestyle race, while Australia also had women winners in 50m butterfly’s champion Paige Leonhardt (S14) and 200m medley gold medallist Jasmine Greenwood (SM10).
The Asian continent was well represented on the podiums during the Citi World Series Australia 2023. Besides China’s Jincheng, the Singaporean four-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu (S2) took home gold in the women’s 50m and 100m backstroke.
Singapore had more occasions of glory when Sophie Jin Wen Soon (SB12) took the gold medal in the women’s 50m breaststroke, while Japan’s Uchu Tomita (S11) and Hong Kong’s Yui Lam Chan (S14) were crowned the men’s and women’s champions in 100m butterfly finals.
Next Stop: Italy
Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy will stage the next leg of the Citi Para Swimming World Series from 9 to 12 March before the competition arrives in Sheffield, Great Britain, then Indianapolis, USA and Singapore in April.
Germany and France will host the series in May and then Mexico will welcome the World Series in October with a final stop still to be confirmed.
Results from 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’ winners are decided based on rankings.
Last year, Colombia’s Carlos Serrano and Germany’s Tanja Scholz were the winners of the overall male and female categories, respectively in the 2022 World Series.