Local heroes and Spanish guests were the stars of the Berlin 2020 World Series which took place at the Schwimm- und Sprunghalle in the Europasportpark (SSE) from 15-18 October.
It was the first World Series since the 2020 Para swimming season was put on hold in March following the COVID-19 pandemic. One hundred and twenty-three swimmers from 11 countries joined the action.
The competition was organised in multi-class events with athletes from different classes racing together and results based in a point system.
Spain flew home with 35 medals in the luggage including 12 golds. Last year’s men’s individual World Series winner Antoni Ponce bagged eight of them, in the men’s 50m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m medley and 400m freestyle.
The Spaniard set new world records in the SB5 class in the men's 50m (40.86), 100m (1:26.80) and 200m breaststroke (3:09.06).
Six-time Paralympic medallist Sarai Gascon (50m freestyle and 100m butterfly) and London 2019 world champion Jacobo Garrido (400m medley and 800m freestyle) took two gold medals each.
German swimmers competed representing 15 Para swimming clubs from around the country. The local Berliner Schwimmteam topped the rankings led by Elena Krawzow.
The London 2019 world champion won three races in her home pool and clocked a new world record in women’s 50m breaststroke SB12 (34.10).
Twenty-year-old Malte Braunschweig, who made his World Championships debut in London last year, gave the Berlin club other two gold medals (100m butterfly and 50m freestyle).
Representing SC Potsdam, from a city neighbouring the German capital, Gina Bottcher was another German international to shine. The Dublin 2018 European Championships medallist triumphed in the women’s 50m butterfly and 200m medley - setting a new world record for the distance in the women's SM4 (4:08.80).
With 16 swimmers, Poland had the second biggest international delegation – only behind Spain’s 19 athletes. Oliwia Jablonska was the main star in the Polish team, winning the women’s 400m freestyle – the same event in which she took the gold medal at London 2019.
Rio 2016 Paralympic champion in the men’s 50m backstroke, Arnost Petracek dominated the event in Berlin giving Czech Republic their only gold in the World Series.
Brazil, Egypt, France, Slovakia and Switzerland were the other countries with representatives at the final World Series of the season.
Full results can be found on the Local Organising Committee website.
*The original article was published on 19 October (1550) and updated on 23 October with the world records ratified by World Para Swimming.