World Series 2023: Serrano, Vargas put Colombia on top in Singapore

Duo shines with four gold each as home star Xiu sets new world record* in the women's 200m freestyle S2 at fifth stop of the Citi Para Swimming World Series 02 May 2023
Colombia’s Sara Vargas claimed the 100m freestyle S6 gold medal in the World Championships in Madeira last year.
Colombia’s Sara Vargas claimed the 100m freestyle S6 gold medal in the World Championships in Madeira last year.
ⒸOctavio Guedes / Getty Images
By Victor Pereira | For World Para Swimming

Carlos Serrano and Sara Vargas put up a stunning performance to propel Colombia to the top of the medals table of the Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore 2023 that concluded on Monday (01 May).

Serrano and Vargas were responsible for all the golds for Colombia with four victories each among the men and women, respectively, as they finished with 15 medals that had eight golds, a silver, and five bronze medals.

Serrano (S7), the two-time Paralympic champion, bagged gold in the 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 200m medley, and in the event in which he grabbed his two Paralympic golds at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, the 100m breaststroke.

“It has been a complex start to the year but here we are. I’m back to compete and give my best. In this 2023 season, I have many dreams, a lot of desire and all of that motivates me to swim very hard. It is a pleasure to compete again, very good tournament, nice pool. I am very happy”, said the Colombian swimmer who was named last year’s top overall athlete.

Vargas (S6), the four-time Parapan Am Games and 2022 world champion, put her nation top of the podium in the 50m butterfly in addition to the 50m, 100m, and 400m freestyle. She also had a bronze in the 100m backstroke.

In the women's 400m freestyle final, Vargas shared the gold with New Zealand’s Gabriella Smith after achieving 762 points each.

Among the bronze medallists, Nelson Crispin (S6) got five of them - in the 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 200m medley - and in 100m breaststroke, he smashed the world record by touching the wall in a time of 1:18.16.

Closing the Colombian medals cluster, Maria Paula Barrera (S10) won a silver in the women’s 50m freestyle.

Yip’s world record

Home swimmers too mesmerised the crowd at the OCBC Aquatic Centre with six-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu emerging victorious in the women’s 200m freestyle event.

En route the gold medal, Xiu also set a new world record* in the class S2 of the event swimming in 4:41.46. She also achieved a silver medal in the women’s 50m backstroke.

Her teammate Toh Wei Soong (S7) took a silver in the men’s 50m butterfly and completed the Singaporean party.

Japan also displayed a strong show collecting six gold medals. Among the men, Tomita Uchu (S11) in the 400m freestyle, Takayuki Suzuki (SB3) in the 50m breastroke, Kota Kubota (S8) in the 100m backstroke, and Anku Matsuda (S14) in the 100m butterfly emerged the winners.

Among the women, Mikika Serizawa (SB14) triumphed in the 100m breaststroke while Aira Kinoshita (SM14) won the gold in the 200m medley.

Full results of the Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore 2023 can be found here.

Final sprint to the Worlds

After crossing the globe with stops in Oceania, Europe, America, and Asia, now the Citi World Series goes back to Europe for the final two steps before Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships.

Berlin, Germany welcomes the competition from 11 to 14 May while Limoges, France will be the host two weeks later from 26 to 28.

Manchester 2023 will take place from 31 July to 6 August before the Citi Para Swimming World Series 2023 resumes in Mexico in October and a final stop yet to be confirmed.

*World records are subject to ratification by World Para Swimming