World Series 2019: Reigning champions return

Daniel Dias and Louise Fiddes to compete in double-header 24 Apr 2019
male Para swimmer Daniel Dias laughs in the pool and female Para swimmer Louise Fiddes holds up a gold medal

World Series champions Dias (R) and Fiddes will take to the pool in Sao Paulo and Glasgow

ⒸCPB/Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
By Ivo Felipe and World Para Swimming

Reigning men’s and women’s World Para Swimming World Series champions Daniel Dias and Louise Fiddes will be in action from Thursday as they participate in simultaneous World Series events in their home countries.

Brazil’s most decorated Paralympian will swim in Sao Paulo from 25-27 April, while the Brit will compete in Glasgow, between 25 and 28 April.

Dias leads the way

It will be the third successive year that the Brazilian Paralympic Training Centre stages a World Series event. Around 250 swimmers from 16 countries are expected to compete this year.

“It is my season debut and also a very important competition since it gives us the opportunity to achieve the marks for 2019’s main events, the Parapans and the World Championships. I am confident I can gain a place to represent my country once again.”

China’s three-time Paralympic champion Bozun Yang and Cuba’s Rio 2016 gold medallist Lorenzo Perez Escalona stand out among the international swimmers.

The centre opened its doors in 2016 and is a major infrastructural legacy of the Paralympic Games.

Dias said: “Having such a great facility in Brazil enable us to avoid long trips and makes it easier for us to set up our season schedule.”

From underdog to world beater

With so many experienced and multiple-Paralympic champions competing, few expected teenage swimmer Fiddes would end up taking the 2018 World Series crown.

The 18-year-old now has the mammoth challenge of repeating that stunning performance as she makes her season debut on home soil in Glasgow.

British spectators will be hopeful of celebrating further success through four-time Paralympic champion Bethany Firth and London 2012 gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate.

The World Series champion from 2017 - Monica Boggioni of Italy - will also be in attendance, hoping a good performance can kickstart her bid to regain the title.

Other top names competing include Canada’s Paralympic champion Aurelie Rivard, Spain’s Sarai Gascon and Ireland’s Ellen Keane.

All athletes' results at each World Series edition are calculated using a standardised World Para Swimming points system via an online virtual competition platform.

This ensures that the overall World Series winner will be the best performing athlete over the duration of the series, meaning that every performance counts.

Live World Series action will be shown on the World Para Swimming website and Facebook page.

Live results from Glasgow are available on British Swimming’s website.