World Para Swimming Championships
12-18 June 2022

Madeira 2022: Italy and Great Britain dominate day one

First place at London 2019, Azzurri pick six gold medals on Sunday while British swimmers produce two world records in Portugal 12 Jun 2022
Two female swimmers with Italian caps smiling in a pool
Giulia Ghiretti (right) celebrating with teammate Monica Boggioni was one of the six Italian gold medallists on Sunday at Madeira 2022
ⒸOctavio Passos/Getty Images
By World Para Swimming

Italy kicked off the Madeira 2022 World Championships as it ended London 2019: on top of the medals table. Italian swimmers picked six gold medals while Great Britain triumphed five times including the two world records set on Sunday (12 June) in Portugal.

USA bagged three golds while Brazil, Canada and the Netherlands topped the podium twice each at the Funchal Swimming Pools Complex.

Gold medallist in London three years ago and at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Italy’s Stefano Raimondi became back-to-back world champion in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB9.

“It’s fantastic. Another World Championships and world champion again. I’m really happy with these titles and I hope to improve my titles here,” Raimondi said.

Alberto Amodeo (men’s 400m freestyle S8), Efrem Morelli (men’s 50m breaststroke SB3), Francesco Bocciardo (men’s 50m freestyle S5), Giulia Ghiretti (women’s 100m breaststroke SB4) and Carlotta Gilli (women’s 100m butterfly S13) were responsible for the other Italian victories on Sunday.


Great Britain’s Tully Kearney was another star to retain the world title winning the women’s 50m freestyle S5 lowering her own world record in 1.12 (34.07). 

"I’m still pretty shocked with that, this morning I didn’t even know if I was going to race due to my injury but I’m just over the moon,” said Tully. “I’ve had to be a lot more sensible and race smart, which is something I struggle with as a natural racer.”

Just 12 minutes later it was Ellie Challis’ turn to set a new world record in Madeira in her triumph in the women’s 50m breaststroke SB2 (1:04.33).

British swimmers also produced the first podium sweep of the 2022 Worlds in the women’s 200m freestyle S14. Bethany Firth finished first followed by Jessica Applegate (silver) and Louise Fiddes (bronze).

The other two British gold medals on Sunday came in the 100m backstroke S12. Stephen Clegg was the winner in the men’s race followed by Hannah Russell’s in the women’s event.


The first podium of the day had a Brazilian winner. Maria Carolina Santiago finished first in the women’s 100m butterfly. In the evening session, Gabriel Bandeira had a golden World Championships debut giving Brazil its second victory of the day in the men’s 200m freestyle setting a championships record (1:52.42).

All three USA gold medals came in women’s events. Morgan Stickney led the way in the 400m freestyle S8 while Julia Gaffney triumphed in the 200m medley SM7 and Leanne Smith, the 50m breaststroke SB3 with an Americas record (55.25).

Australia, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Mexico and Ukraine also bagged gold medals in the opening day at Madeira 2022.

Complete results and medallists from day one at the World Championships can be found here.

The World Championships continues on Monday (13 June) with 23 finals. 

You can follow all the action live on World Para Swimming Facebook page and on Paralympic Games YouTube channel.

Pictures for editorial use are available on Flickr.