Allianz Para Swimming World Championships
31 July - 6 August

Manchester 2023: Triple treat from Ukraine

Ukrainian and Chinese swimmers dominate the pool setting five world records on day four of the Allianz Para Swimming World Championships 04 Aug 2023
A male athlete swimming breaststroke
Danylo Chufarov broke the men's 200m medley SM11 world record to take his second gold at the Manchester Aquatics Centre
ⒸAlex Livesey/Getty Images
By Emma Logan | For World Para Swimming

Triple treat came from Ukraine as they set three new world records on Thursday (3 August), day four of the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships. 

Ukraine were quick to stamp their authority in the pool when Danylo Chufarov set his second world record of the meet in the men’s 200m individual medley SM11. 

There was nothing the former world champion, Rogier Dorsman, could do as Chufarov broke the Dutchman’s record with a time of 2:18.16, to steal the crown. 

"This means so much to me. I think this is really important for my country now," said the new world champion, Chufarov.

Ukraine’s second world record of the night came in the men’s 200m freestyle S1, when Anton Kol broke an 11-year-old record on his way to gold. Kol looked on in disbelief as he read the new world’s best time of 4:57.31.     

Their third gold and third world’s best time of the day, was in the penultimate event. Kateryna Tkachuk, Oleksii Fedyna, Oleksii Virchenko and Anna Stetsenko stormed to victory in the mixed 4x100m medley relay 49pts. The team knocked off more than seven seconds, touching the wall at 4:25.78.

There was double delight for China as both Ma Jia and Guo Jincheng secured their second titles in Manchester and both in world record style. 

Ma put on a dominant display in the women’s 200m individual medley SM11, clocking in at 2:40.10, with a cushion of over three seconds. Guo’s gold was also his second world record of the meet (2:46.55), which he achieved in the men’s 200m individual medley SM5. 

Familiar with making headlines and smashing world records, Italy’s Simone Barlaam was hoping to break his own world record (set at Madeira 2022) in the men’s 100m freestyle S9.

"Fourth consecutive title. It's a pity I only touched close to the world record, but today that's okay. There is the barrier of 52.00 which sooner or later I will break down."

Although not a world record, Brazil's Talisson Glock did break a 17-year-long championship record in the men’s 400m freestyle S6 (4:52.42), earning him gold. 

Glock’s victory ceremony was the perfect welcoming for Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid. The footballer, who came to cheer on the Brazilian squad with his family.

There was more gold to Brazil with Cecilia Araujo in the women’s 100m freestyle S8 and Gabriel Araujo in the men’s 200m freestyle S2.

New champions on the blocks

Despite it being her first major championships, nerves certainly didn't get in the way of Australia’s Alexa Leary, as she took gold in the women’s 100m freestyle S9. 

Setting the fastest in the morning, expectations were high and the yellow cap delivered, powering to the top to claim her first championship title. 

Ireland joined the golden club, thanks to Roisin Ni Riain in the women’s 100m backstroke S13. The Irish swimmer had a final surge to the wall to take the gold by 0.09 seconds. 

“I really don’t know what to say to be honest, I’m absolutely delighted with that swim. Very unexpected but it’s a lovely surprise,” said an ecstatic Roisin Ni Riain.

“I think after that 100m breaststroke I felt like I had something to prove after missing the bronze by just a half a second so I’m glad that I was able to come out tonight and prove that point.”

Although not a stranger to the top of the podium, Vali Israfilov retained his crown in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB12, giving Azerbaijan their first gold of the championships. Cameron Leslie moved New Zealand up the medals table with a gold in the men’s 50m backstroke S4, also their first gold. 

South Africa took its second gold at Manchester 2023 again with Kat Swanepoel, this time in the women's 50m backstroke S4.

Krawzoz adds world champion to her resume

After just missing out on the women's 100m breaststroke SB12 world title by 0.02 seconds last year, Germany’s Elena Krawzow got her hands on gold again.

"I was hoping to be even faster, but of course I'm happy. It's a great relief that I've become world champion again," said the German, who set a new championships record time (1:13.13).

The Paralympic champion discovered she had a brain tumour upon her return from Tokyo 2020, where she won gold in the same event. She underwent an operation and received several rounds of chemotherapy, on her path to recovery. 

It was Krawzow's third world title and fifth World Championships medal.

Hosts Great Britain topped the podium twice on day four. Ellie Challis bagged her second gold in three races in the women's 50m backstroke S3. William Ellard, Jessica-Jane Applegate, Poppy Maskill and Jordan Catchpole formed the team that won the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay S14.

In the S5 events, China proved that they are a force to be reckoned. Following on from day two’s domination in the men’s 50m backstroke S5, the Chinese had another podium sweep, this time in the women’s 200m individual medley SM5. 

He Shenggao finally found herself in top position in Manchester, beating teammates Cheng Jiao and Lu Dong, who settled for silver and bronze respectively. 

Four golds on day four saw the Asian country overtake Italy on the medals table for the first time. Both countries have 14 gold each but the Chinese stretches ahead with seven more silvers.

Canada (Danielle Dorris, women's 100m backstroke S7), USA (Noah Jaffe, men's 100m freestyle S8) and the Netherlands (Thomas van Wanrooij, men's 100m backstroke S13) also picked world titles on Thursday. 

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.