Marc Evers of the Netherlands secured his third victory of the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series as the fourth event of the season got underway in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, on Thursday (24 May).
Evers, who won two gold medals in the opening event of the series in Copenhagen, Denmark, in March, made a strong start on his return to World Series action in Italy. The 26-year-old repeated his 100m backstroke win from Copenhagen by winning gold in the same event in Lignano Sabbiadoro with 992 points.
The Dutch swimmer (S14) finished ahead of Italy’s Riccardo Menciotti (S10, 952 points) and Japan’s Keichi Nakajima (S14, 932 points) to add the title to the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly gold he won at the opening event of the year.
After bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke, Nakajima was on the podium again a few minutes later, this time collecting silver for the men’s 200m freestyle. The Japanese swimmer finished behind his compatriot and fellow S14 swimmer Dai Tokairin, who won gold with 963 points.
Nakajima (939 points) and Tokairin were joined on the podium by Italy’s Misha Palazzo (S14, 864 points).
There were also two trips to the podium for Italy’s Carlotta Gilli (S13) as she claimed bronze in both the women’s 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke.
Gilli was one of two Italian swimmers to make the 100m freestyle podium with Arjola Trimi (S4, 984 points) claiming silver after finishing 32 points ahead of Gilli. Gold went to Ukraine’s Mereshko Yelyzaveta (S6) who produced a brilliant swim to take the title with a points tally of 1001.
Less than 30 minutes later, Gilli was back on the podium, finishing third in the women’s 100m backstroke. The victory went to Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto (S9), who like Gilli had competed in the 100m freestyle just half an hour early.
There was, however, no sign of fatigue as the 19-year-old scored 983 points, 17 more than silver medallist Cleo Keijzer (S8) of the Netherlands.
Italy’s Francesco Bocciardo produced the biggest roar of the night from the Italian crowds as he won gold in the men’s 100m freestyle, getting the better of Brazil’s defending World Series champion Daniel Dias in the final.
Both S5 swimmers passed 1000 points, but it was Bocciardo who beat Dias to the touch to top the standings with 1020 points, 11 more than the Brazilian’s total. Nelson Crispin (S6) of Colombia completed the podium with 992 points.
There was a close finish in the women’s 200m freestyle A final as Amber van der Kruk (S14, 910 points) touched just ahead of Canada’s Angela Marina (S14, 904 points) to take gold by six points. Bronze went to Germany’s Janina Breuer (S14, 834 points).
The Lignano Sabbiadoro World Series continues on Friday (25 May) with the 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley.
Both the heats and the finals will be live streamed on World Para Swimming’s website, with full results available here.