A number of Americas and national records delighted the Brazilian crowd at the World Para Swimming World Series in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which concluded on 29 April as several big names launched their 2018 seasons.
Here are five things we learned from the season’s third World Series.
Big names starting the season in style
The Sao Paulo World Series was an excellent opportunity for many South American swimmers to kick off their 2018 season. Judging by the performances given, this year looks to be a promising one for the continent's Para swimmers. There were no cobwebs to be seen, with records and personal bests being broken left, right and centre.
Brazil getting better and better
Local swimmers did not disappoint, showing their incredible development in the pool by breaking a whopping 23 national records. Bruno Becker exceeded expectations by breaking the Americas record in the 50m butterfly S2, while 18-year-old Ana Karolina de Oliveira smashed a number of national records in the S14 class, showing she is one to watch for the future.
Chile going strong
While the medals table was dominated by the hosts Brazil, many of the visiting nations came away with positive results. None more so than Chile, who ended with six medals. Led by S2 athlete Alberto Abarza, who grabbed one gold and two silvers as well as breaking three Americas records along the way, Chile showed their strength on the continental stage.
Sao Paulo is the undisputed home of Brazilian Para sport
Continuing on from the success of last year’s World Series, Para athletics Grand Prix and Youth Parapan American Games, Sao Paulo's Training Paralympic Centre has once again proved itself to be the ideal venue for Para sport in Brazil. With excellent facilities for dozens of sports, superb infrastructure to host athletes, press and fans, all those who attended the venue were overwhelmed by its high standards.
Dias and Gimenez gunning for World Series title
While there were plenty of outstanding performances, two names stood out as being serious contenders for the competition’s overall title come June’s final event in Berlin, Germany. Brazil's S5 swimmer Daniel Dias and Argentina’s S9 swimmer Daniela Gimenez both got their seasons off to superb starts by winning a host of medals and recording excellent times. Dias took gold in all three of his events, while Gimenez pushed herself to the limit, taking part in four events over two days and walking away with four medals: two golds, one silver and one bronze.
The World Series now goes back to Europe, with events in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, from 24-27 May, Sheffield, Great Britain, between 31 May and 3 June, and the final showcase in Berlin, Germany, from 7-10 June.