World Series 2023: First-time hosts Egypt deliver thrilling season finale

Khalili's and Espiau's outstanding performances propel Finland and France into top 3 alongside Turkey at Egypt 2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series 13 Nov 2023
Seven Para swimmers on the starting block before a race
Finland's Nader Khalili (FIN cap) picked five gold medals at the last World Series of the 2023 season in the Egyptian capital Cairo
ⒸEgyptian Paralympic Committee
By Victor Pereira | For World Para Swimming

The Citi Para Swimming World Series 2023 came to an end on Sunday (12 November) in the Egyptian capital Cairo with nine out of 13 participant nations visiting the podium during the three-day-competition.

It was the first edition of the World Series to be held in Africa with 74 Para swimmers competing at the New Capital Sports City Swimming Pool.

Finland topped the medals table followed by Turkey in second and France right after in third. Finland’s Nader Khalili and France’s Assya Espiau topped the individual medals table in the men’s and women’s events, respectively.

S14-swimmer Khalili finished the Egypt 2023 World Series with five gold medals. The 21-year-old won the men’s 200m and 400m freestyle, 200m medley, 100m butterfly and 100m breaststroke.

His teammate Jenna Rajahalme (S10) grabbed the other two golds for their country in the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle.

Espiau led France to the top 3 owning four out of five French gold medals. The 17-year-old triumphed in the women’s 200m freestyle, 200m medley, 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke.

Maely Chevallier (S14) added the other gold to France’s medal tally in the women’s 100m butterfly. Chevallier also grabbed two silver medals in a French one-two podium with Assya in the 200m medley and 200m freestyle.

Another S14 swimmer, Nathan Maillet completed the French medal collection in Egypt with a silver in the men’s 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle, in addition to a bronze in the 100m backstroke.

Teenage talents

The Egypt 2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series saw many young stars taking the lead role in their nations’ performances.

Turkey placed second in the medals table with 16 medals (six gold, four silver and six bronze) and 16-year-old Turgut Yaraman was responsible for five of them.

The class S7-swimmer took gold in the men’s 50m freestyle and 100m backstroke, silver in the 50m butterfly and 400m freestyle, and also a bronze in the 100m freestyle.

Sevilay Ozturk (S5) turns 20 at the end of the month and gave herself an early birthday gift with a gold medal in a Turkish podium sweep in the women’s 50m butterfly. Sumeyye Boyaci (S5) took silver and Emine Avcu (S4) the bronze medal.

Boyaci finished first in the women’s 50m backstroke and also took a bronze in the 200m freestyle; while Avcu picked a victory in the women’s 50m breaststroke.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was another nation to travel home with medals thanks to their teenage talents Ismail Barlov (S3) and Ismail Zulfic (S5), both only 13 years old. Barlov won the men’s 50m breaststroke and finished second in the men’s 150m medley. Zulfic (S5) grabbed bronze in the men’s 50m butterly.

Hosts Egypt picked six medals in Cairo, including one gold in the women’s 400m freestyle with Ayaallah Tewfick (S6). There was also one silver (Zeiad Hasby in the men’s 50m freestyle) and four bronze, with Youssef Elsayed (SM3) in the men’s 150m medley, Wardshan Mohamed (S9) in the women’s 100m backstroke, Malak Abdelshafi (S5) in the women’s 50m backstroke, and Ahmad Hashad (SB4) in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

Complete full results of the Egypt 2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series can be found here.

See you in 2024, World Series

Nine countries across all continents hosted the Citi Para Swimming World Series this year. 

It will not take too long for the journey to start again as the 2024 season will kick off in Aberdeen, Great Britain on February 2024.

The Citi Para Swimming World Series 2024 competition calendar can be found here.