Portuguese and Brazilian swimmers were the first to arrive in Funchal, Portugal, on Monday and Tuesday, just days away from the opening of the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championship on Saturday (30 April).
Teams were greeted at the airport by some of the more than 200 volunteers who will help the smooth running of the competition.
Gino Caetano, Ivo Rock, John Pine, Jose Costa, Nuno Alves, Ruben Linhares and Renata Pinto were the first Portuguese swimmers to arrive on Tuesday (26 April), later joined by World Championships bronze medallist David Grachat amongst others.
Brazilian swimmers arrived on Monday (25 April) evening, directly from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Test Event where they won 66 medals at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Their team includes multiple Paralympic champion Andre Brasil and Daniel Dias, as well as medallists Phelipe Rodrigues and Athens 2004 Paralympic title winner Clodoaldo Silva.
On Tuesday the Brazilians took the opportunity to visit the Complexo Olimpico de Piscinas da Penteada where competition will take place. There they met Funcho, the Championships’ mascot.
Tuesday will also see the arrival of Argentina, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Ukraine and Vietnam, with the majority of teams landing in Funchal by Friday (29 April).
As well as the 453 swimmers from 52 countries travelling to Portugal, some of the flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony have been named.
London 2012 silver medallist Karolina Pelendritou will carry the flag for Cyprus, whilst world and European Championships podium finisher Scott Quin will march for Great Britain.
Ukraine’s Maksim Veraksa, who holds the title of the world’s fastest Paralympian as the men’s 50m freestyle S12 world record holder, will represent his country during the parade of nations.
Beijing 2008 Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu will bear the Singaporean flag.
The Opening Ceremony will feature singer Katia Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister, who will perform the Portuguese national anthem.
Free tickets for the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championships are available to download at www.Funchal2016.com.
Live coverage and results will be shown at www.Funchal2016.com from 1-7 May. Morning sessions begin at 9:00am (WET) and evening sessions at 5:00pm each day.