“Thanks to our partnership with Channel 4, we are able to offer one of the best commentator line-ups ever seen at a Championships.”
IPC Swimming has announced that the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championships in Funchal, Portugal, will be shown live and in full at Funchal2016.com between 1- 7 May.
The competition schedule is available at Funchal2016.com/schedule-results. Heats will begin at 09:00 and finals at 17:00 (WET) each day.
The week-long competition will feature an English commentary team of current and former athletes, who have 25 Paralympic medals between them.
The commentary will be shared with British broadcaster Channel 4 as part of a collaboration with IPC Swimming.
Paul Noble, a 15-time Paralympic medallist, will be a familiar voice having covered past IPC Swimming Championships and Paralympic Games. Joining him will be triple Paralympic champion Giles Long who has also commentated on IPC Swimming events previously, including the Glasgow 2015 World Championships.
Paralympian Liz Johnson will bring insider knowledge from the sport as a current member of the British team. Johnson has won medals at three consecutive Paralympic Games from Athens 2004, including gold at Beijing 2008 and bronze at her home Games at London 2012.
Craig Spence, IPC Director of Media and Communications, said: “Thanks to our partnership with Channel 4, we are able to offer one of the best commentator lineups ever seen at a Championships.
“Viewers will have access to an unprecedented degree of experience and knowledge from three generations of swimmers who competed for, and won, medals at the highest level of the sport.
“This, combined with the fact that the European Championships are the last major competition ahead of Rio 2016, will make for an incredibly exciting few days of competition.”
Many of the world’s best swimmers are expected to line up in Funchal, with some of the most compelling rivalries in para-sport set to be re-ignited.
Dutchman Marc Evers’ European titles are under threat in the men’s S14 races. At the 2015 World Championships Russia’s Viacheslav Emeliantsev claimed gold in the 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley, which previously belonged to Evers.
On the women’s side, Spain’s six-time Paralympic champion Teresa Perales and Norway’s double title holder Sarah Louise Rung are preparing to take their rivalry to the next level this year. At the European Championships in 2014, Perales and Rung left with four gold medals each in S5 and SB4 events.
David Grachat will compete for hosts Portugal in men’s S9 events. He secured his first Worlds medal in 2015 with bronze in the 400m freestyle.
Great Britain’s Bethany Firth will make her hotly anticipated return to major international competition, after an injury put her out of contention for the World Championships.
Firth had broken the 100m backstroke S14 and 100m breaststroke SB14 world records in early 2015, but fractured her wrist in training just weeks before the Worlds. At one of her first competitions back in the pool in December, the 20-year-old also set a new 200m freestyle world record.
Rio 2016 hosts Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, South Africa and Singapore are amongst the non-European teams set to compete.
The livestream may be geo-blocked in some territories. More information will be available at Funchal2016.com closer to the event.
Over 450 athletes from more than 50 countries will compete for titles at the Complexo Olimpico de Piscinas da Penteada on the island of Madeira.
Free tickets are still available for download at Funchal2016.com/tickets.