The World Series is back, and in one of the most traditional Para swimming venues in the world.
Berlin, Germany will host athletes from 11 countries from Thursday (15 October) to Sunday (18) at the Schwimm- und Sprunghalle in the Europasportpark (SSE).
It is the first World Para Swimming competition in eight months, and it was initially scheduled to take place in June – before the season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The competition will be closed to the public, but Para swimming fans can follow it live on World Para Swimming Facebook page*.
The hosts will be led by the three world champions from London 2019, Elena Krawzow (women’s 100m breaststroke SB12), Taliso Engel (men’s 100m breaststroke SB13) and Verena Schott (women’s 100m backstroke S6).
Engel showed his form during the weekend in a national competition in Wurzburg, swimming in a time faster than the one that gave him the gold medal in last year’s Worlds.
Krawzow has also made headlines in her country recently as she became the first Para athlete to be in the German edition of Playboy magazine.
Spain travelled with a 19-strong team, including London 2019 gold medallists, Jacobo Garrido (men’s 400m freestyle S9), Nuria Marques (women’s 200m medley SM9) and Teresa Perales (women’s 50m backstroke S5).
The team had to follow strict rules to be able to travel to the German capital.
“Berlin is an event that I have always enjoyed,” Marques said. “Let’s see how it goes this time, as it is going to be different than we are used to. We are all looking forward to competing again, as next season will be really important.”
Poland is another team coming to Berlin with a London 2019 gold medallist, Oliwia Jablonska (women’s 400m freestyle S10).
Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Arnost Petracek is Czech Republic’s sole representative in the German capital.
Swimmers from Brazil, Egypt, France, Slovakia and Switzerland are also set to be in the water in the World Series.
*Except Germany, due to geo-block restrictions. German audience can watch the World Series here.