Headlines were made as decade-long records were smashed and five new countries claimed victory as 24 golds were dished out on day two of the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships on Tuesday (1 August) at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
There is an elite few that claim ‘world champion’ status and so to do it twice in just over 20 minutes, warrants a special medal.
Tanja Scholz made it look somewhat easy though, as she did the double in the women’s 100m freestyle S4 followed by the women’s 150m individual medley SM3, giving Germany their first golds of the meet.
"I'm so happy, I'm speechless," said a tired Scholz after her second triumph. "I have the best team ever, that feels amazing."
Germany’s winning ways continued in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB13, when Taliso Engel topped the pool to get Germany their golden hat-trick.
Fab five new world records
It did not take long for new world records to be set and they were certainly done in style. Megan Stickney smashed an 11-year-old world record by over four seconds, claiming USA’s first gold of the meet.
Stickney put on a dominant display in the women’s 400m freestyle S7, clocking a time of 4:54.28.
"I've had one of the worst years of my life battling to save my legs and arms, being at the hospital every four to six weeks, so just being able to be here is incredible. I've been working really hard and putting my frustration into the pool, and that's obviously paying off," said the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion and now two-time 400m freestyle world champion.
Ukraine’s Danylo Chufarov went one better by beating the men’s 100m butterfly S11 former world record, which stood for 15 years since the Beijing 2008 Paralympics. Chufarov swam to a time of 1:00.66.
It was the first gold in Manchester for Israel thanks to Ami Omer Dadaon, who set a new world’s best in the men’s 100m freestyle S4 (01:18.94).
Italy and China added to their gold medal tally with blistering performances by Antonio Fantin and Jiang Yuyan in the men’s and women’s 100m freestyle S6, respectively.
Yuyan recorded a new world record time of 1:10.86 and Fantin 1:02.98, which helped Italy to maintain their lead on the medals table.
The other two golds Italy bagged on day two were from Federico Bicelli in the men’s 400m freestyle S7 and Stefano Raimondi in the men’s 200m individual medley SM10, his second gold in two days.
Dominant clean sweeps
Great Britain showed their prowess once again in the women’s S14 event, tonight taking the top three spots in the 100m backstroke.
Reigning champion Bethany Firth held off teammate Poppy Maskill to clinch gold by 0.07 seconds, with Georgia Sheffield completing the British podium on her international debut.
The men’s 50m backstroke S5 belonged to the People’s Republic of China as Yuan Weiyi was crowned the new world champion, ahead of teammates Wang Lichao and Guo Jincheng.
Britain also took gold in the women’s 100m backstroke S8 (Alice Tai) and women’s 100m breaststroke SB13 (Rebecca Redfern) whilst China found glory in the women’s 50m backstroke S5 (Lu Dong) and the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay 20pts that closed the night.
“I came here just to work on my race process as I’ve not had that many opportunities to race since my amputation, so yeah I went way faster than I thought I would and I’m super happy with the gold," said Tai.
Australia and Brazil impressed in the pool as they took two more titles each.
Ahmed Kelly stormed to a new Oceanic record on his way to gold in the men’s 150m individual medley SM3, ahead of teammate Benjamin Hance who found his second gold of the meet in championships record style, in the men’s 100m backstroke S14.
Maria Carolina Gomes Santiago also made it two-from-two when she claimed the title in the women’s 100m butterfly S12, just after teammate Douglas Matera created a huge upset in the men’s 100m butterfly S12.
Matera denied the home favourite, Stephen Clegg, gold as he raced to victory with a new Americas record. It was Brazil's 100th gold medal in Para Swimming World Championships.
"I feel really proud for all the work that was done to get here and also honoured to be the one who won the 100th gold," Matera said.
Spain and Hungary also made waves by securing their first golds of the championships (Inigo Llopsis Sans in the men’s 100m backstroke S8 and Bianca Pap in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10).
Complete results and all medallist of the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships can be found here.
The Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships is streamed live on World Para Swimming website and Facebook channel with geo-blocking restrictions in certain territories – you can find more information about where to watch the competition here. Pictures from Manchester 2023 are available for editorial use on Flickr.