Six world records, 11 European records and numerous British records were broken at the British Gas Disability Open Short Course Swimming Championships between 22-23 November.
Newcomers and experienced para-swimmers impressed the crowds at the Manchester Aquatics Centre in Great Britain.
Among those celebrating included British teammates Sascha Kindred, Andrew Mullen. Jessica-Jane Applegate and Stephanie Slater.
Kindred is one of the most experienced and decorated swimmers in para-sport, having won 12 medals from the past five Paralympic Games. He began his successful weekend on Saturday (23 November) when he touched for a British record in the 100m freestyle S6 (1:08:91). The 36-year-old returned in the afternoon to claim a new world record in the 200m individual medley SM6 (2:39:27). In Sunday (23 November) afternoon’s session, he was still showing the young swimmers why he continues to be one of the world’s best with another British record in the 400m freestyle S6 (5:10:77).
After his world record, Kindred said “I've never stopped learning my trade so to break another world record is something I'm very proud of and shows there's still room for improvement for the older swimmer! My swim felt really good but there are bits I'm still not happy with, so hopefully I can go faster.”
Applegate, 18, was a gold medallist in the 200m freestyle S14 at London 2012, over a long course. The British swimmer showed form in short course when she clocked 2:10:06 in the same event, setting a new world record.
Icelandic swimmer, Jon Margeir Sverrisson set two world and three European records in Manchester. His world records in 100m and 200m freestyle S14 (00:53:70 and 1:55:11) reaffirmed himself as an international star in the pool.
Other European record breakers included Slater in the 50m freestyle S8 (50:80) and two for Mullen in the 200m freestyle S5 (2:46:03) and 50m backstroke S5 (38:88).
Mullen also collected the team trophy for the most individual points accumulated over the weekend - the first time Scotland has won the trophy in many years. He was elated for the team and said "It's been a great competition this weekend. I always look forward to racing short course. It was this meet that my swimming career really kicked off so to be able to come and put in some good performances is always a pleasure."
The mixture of newcomers and world class swimmers gave the championships an extra special atmosphere. Numerous British records were broken by swimmers with a range of experience.
Jannine Walker, National Events Manager for the English Federation for Disability Sport, said “The event was an overwhelming success, with so many notable performances. As the organisers, we are always proud when we see the newcomers turn into international swimming stars. So many of the world-class para-swimmers started at events like this one, so to be a part of new swimmers’ road to Rio is a great feeling for everyone involved.”
The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships will be held from 13-19 July in Glasgow, Great Britain, over a long course.
*All records are subject to ratification by IPC Swimming