Swimming World Series in Sheffield to be biggest yet

More than 300 swimmers from 20 countries will compete in Great Britain from 27 April as the World Championships build-up continues. 26 Apr 2017
A swimmer celebrating his gold medal in the water, raising one arm.

Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd is one of the leading contenders for Great Britain at the World Championships.

Ⓒ2016 Getty Images

Around 300 athletes from more than 20 countries are ready to compete at the third World Para Swimming World Series of 2017 in Sheffield, Great Britain, from Thursday (27 April) – the biggest gathering of international swimmers so far this year.

All mixed class heats and finals will be shown live at British Swimming’s website and live results will be available.

Tickets are also on sale.

Hosts Great Britain are fielding the largest team, including Paralympic and world champions.

Ollie Hynd, the 200m individual medley Paralympic and world title holder, returns to the pool.

"I'm really excited for the Para swimming World Series event in Sheffield,” said Hynd, who set a new world record in the event on his way to gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. "It will be my first competition since Rio so I'm keen to see where I'm at and what I'll need to work on going forward."

The men’s S14 will feature a face-off between the Rio 2016 100m breaststroke gold and silver medallists Aaron Moores and Scott Quin.

The pair went head-to-head in Brazil with European champion Quin just losing out to his teammate by 0.13 seconds in the final. Thomas Hamer, 18, also picked up two silvers in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley for Great Britain in the men’s S14.

Hoping to get in between the three is Hong Kong’s 200m freestyle Paralympic title holder Wai Lok Tang.

The Czech Republic’s Arnost Petracek returns after winning his first men’s S4 title in 2016. He stormed to victory in the 50m backstroke in Rio in a new European record time.

The women’s field is equally as stacked as athletes build towards September’s World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City.

The competition between the USA’s Rebecca Meyers and Great Britain’s Rebecca Redfern will highlight the women’s S13.

Meyers, 22, left Rio with three golds in the 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle.

Redfern grabbed silver in the 100m breaststroke and is excited to meet her rivals once again: “I’m really looking forward to the British Para Swimming International Meet [World Series], where I’m hoping to swim well and consolidate my time from Rio. The competition will be tough but I'm excited to be racing against a high class field again.”

Meyers’ multiple Paralympic and world champion teammate Jessica Long will compete in the women’s S8. The 25-year-old had a great start to her season at the opening World Series in Copenhagen, Denmark, in March, winning two races.

The women’s 100m breaststroke SB8 will be highlighted by the latest meeting of Canada’s Paralympic champion Katarina Roxon and Irish bronze medallist Ellen Keane.

Norway’s Sarah Louise Rung leads the World Series rankings and also makes her second appearance in Sheffield. Rung is the European, world and Paralympic champion in the 100m breaststroke SB4 and 200m individual medley SM5.

Great Britain’s triple Paralympic champion Bethany Firth will face compatriot and fellow Rio 2016 medallist Jessica Jane Applegate in the women’s S14.

Fifteen-year-old Eleanor Robinson emerged as another strong contender for Great Britain in 2016, winning gold in the 50m butterfly S6 at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in September. The teenager did so having won four medals at the European Championships on her major international debut just months before.

Competition runs in Sheffield from Thursday-Sunday (27-30 April). Heats begin at 10:30am (CET) and the finals at 6:00pm.

The World Series takes in some of the biggest Para swimming competitions around the world ahead of the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City, from 30 September-6 October.

After Sheffield, Indianapolis, USA; and Berlin, Germany, will host events in June and July respectively.