World records galore as Berlin World Series sets the tone for Manchester 2023

Paralympic stars including Italy's Simone Barlaam produce amazing show as 19 world records* were broken in the four-day competition 15 May 2023
The Citi Para Swimming World Series Berlin 2023 gave ample of proof of the level of competition and swimmers' form ahead of the all-important Worlds.
The Citi Para Swimming World Series Berlin 2023 gave ample of proof of the high-level competition and swimmers' form ahead of the all-important Worlds.
ⒸRalf Kuckuck / BSB
By Victor Pereira | For World Para Swimming

With just little more than the Manchester 2023 World Championships, Para swimmers displayed high-quality action setting 19 new world records* at the Citi Para Swimming World Series Berlin 2023 that concluded on Sunday (16 May).

Four athletes including Italy’s Paralympic and world champion Simone Barlaam, Nelson Crispin, Angela Procida and Gina Böttcher stood out doing it twice, breaking the global marker in the heats and then, betting their own marks in the finals at the Schwimm- und Sprunghalle in the Europasportpark (SSE).

Barlaam (S9) kicked off the record-breaking trend for the weekend, swimming the men’s 200m freestyle heats in a time of 01:58.21 and hours later, he grabbed a silver medal by touching the wall almost two seconds faster clocking 01:56.87 in the final.

Barlaam’s compatriot Procida (S2) followed the trend to set a new world record* in the women’s 150m medley SM2 in the heats. Later in the finals, Procida lowered her time by touching the wall in a time of 04:45.46 and grabbed a bronze medal.

Colombia’s Paralympic champion Crispin (S6) won gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and a silver in the 200m medley. However, it was the 50m breaststroke the hight point of day three.

Crispin smashed the class SB6’s world record in the heats with a time of 36.04 and lowered 21 hundredths in the final setting 35.43 as the new marker. It was an especial and memorable final for him not only due to the gold medal and world record* but mainly because all of this happened alongside his teammates.

Another Paralympic swimmer from Colombia, Carlos Zarate (SB7) too impressed with a new world record* in his class with 32.02 for the silver while Moises Garcia (SB4) completed the podium with the bronze medal besides a new world record* by finishing the race in 41.83.

On the last day, it was home star’s turn to join the trend. Germany’s Gina Böttcher (SM4) swam the 200m medley’s heats in 4:04.96 and the final in 4:04.24.

The golden winner

Among all the winners in the World Series Berlin 2023, the Netherlands’ two-time Paralympic champion Liesette Bruinsma (S11) shone brightest as she collected three gold medals in the multi-class events.

Bruinsma won the women’s 200m medley and the 100m and 200m freestyle races setting a new class S11’s World Record in the last one after finishing it in a time of 02:22.04.

Finishing line in sight

The Citi Para Swimming World Series 2023 makes a last stop before the World Championships in Limoges, France later this month from 26 to 28 May.

After that, the Para Swimming 2023 calendar has a two-month break in preparation for the biggest competition of the year as the Manchester 2023 World Championships takes place from 31 July to 6 August.

The World Series resumes in Mexico in October and a final stop yet to be confirmed.

*All the world records are subjected to be ratified by World Para Swimming