Paralympic and world champions will be among over 400 athletes from 31 nations competing at the season’s penultimate World Para Swimming World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, from Thursday to Sunday.
The hosts are hopeful of winning multiple gold medals, especially through Rio 2016 champions Francesco Bocciardo and Federico Morlacchi.
Also keep an eye on Francesco Bettella. The 29-year-old double world champion and two-time Paralympic silver medallist will be participating in the Italian World Series both as a swimmer and head of the Local Organising Committee.
“It is a great challenge as this time the event is not going to be ‘just’ the National Championships but one of the six World Series. I do not deny that I feel an incredible responsibility on my shoulders,” said Bettella.
Three-time world champion Monica Boggioni is hoping to regain the women’s World Series overall title after winning the inaugural edition in 2017.
Italian teenage sensation and 2017 world champion Antonio Fantin will also be in attendance. “I play at home, this is the pool where I train and helped me become world champion,” Fantin said.
Other Italians to check out are Paralympic medallists Vincenzo Boni, Giulia Ghiretti, Efrem Morelli and Arjola Trimi.
Belarus’ most decorated Paralympian Ihar Boki will be the top name competing on Italian waters. It is going to be the 24-year-old’s second event of the year after taking four golds at the National Championships in March.
Kazakhstan’s Paralympic champion Zulfiya Gabidullina will be back into the pool after winning one gold, two silvers and two bronze at last year’s Asian Para Games.
Spaniard Rio 2016 gold medallist Nuria Marques Soto will be a swimmer to look out for, same as Germany’s Paralympic silver medallist Denise Grahl.
Competition will be live streamed on World Para Swimming’s website. Full results will be available on the event’s official website.
The season finale World Series event will again take place in Berlin, Germany, for the third year in a row, between 6 and 9 June.