World Series returns to Asia in Xiu's home waters

Citi Para Swimming World Series lands in the fourth different continent this season with 180 swimmer from 22 countries competing in Singapore 28 Apr 2023
A female swimmer waving from inside the pool
Yip Pin Xiu is Singapore's most famous Para athlete and will lead the host nation at the Citi Para Swimming World Series 2023
ⒸNaomi Baker/Getty Images
By Victor Pereira | For World Para Swimming

Six-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu sums up the expectations for having a high-level international competition back in her country.

“Singaporeans are looking forward to watch it.”

The waiting is finally over and the Citi Para Swimming World Series kicks-off on Saturday for an action-packed weekend in the OCBC Aquatic Centre in Singapore. It marks the return of the World Series to Asia and to the place where the event was first held in the continent in 2019. 


Nearly 180 Para swimmers from 22 nations and all continents meet in multi-class events in the three-day Series (29 April to 1 May).

“It is nice for it to return, so a lot of athletes in this region easily access this high-level competition. It just creates more opportunities for people in Asia and also in Singapore itself”, Xiu added, as 15 out of 22 countries represented at the meet are from the Asian continent.

The class S2 swimmer is the most experienced among the 15-strong representing the host nation at Singapore 2023. She will take part in three races:  50m and 100m backstroke, the same events in which she grabbed gold in the last two editions of the Paralympic Games, in addition to 200m freestyle.

It is her last high-level event before the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships which will take place from 31 July to 6 August.

“My expectations for this World Series are hopefully [to] better my times from the previous two World Series I attended this year [Melbourne and Sheffield]”, said Xiu.

When asked if she feels an extra pressure for seeking this goal in front of her friends and family, the Singaporean added: “I would say that there is pressure but it’s a thing I need to learn how to handle as well. I have this opportunity for my friends and family to watch me again, I think it’s really exciting.”

Champions in action

The home squad is not the largest delegation in action at Singapore 2023. That post belongs to Japan with 22 athletes.

The Japanese roster will be led by Paralympic champion Naohide Yamaguchi (SB14) who will dive into the pool for two events, the men’s 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke in which he collected a gold medal in Tokyo 2020.

Alongside Yamaguchi, Chikako Ono (S11) come to Singapore as the Madeira 2022 world champion in the women’s 100m backstroke. She will also compete in the 50m, 100m, and 400m freestyle in the World Series.

Singapore is also the second international meet China take part this season following their absence from the World Championships in Madeira and last year’s World Series.

As in the Citi Para Swimming World Series Great Britain, plenty of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champions will be representing China this weekend as Hongguang Jia and Li Zhang.

Jia (S6) swims the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m breaststroke and the event he picked gold in the last Paralympic Games edition, 100m backstroke; while Zhang (S5) can be seen in action in the women’s 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.

From all continents

Three countries will be representing Europe in Singapore: Belgium, Greece and Spain. 

Teresa Perales will be headlining the Spanish delegation. She is the country’s most experienced Para swimmer with seven gold, 16 silver and 15 Paralympic bronze medals to her name. Perales (S5) will compete in the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 100m breaststroke.

Brazil and Colombia are the representatives from the Americas region. The Colombians include some of their best as Paralympic champions Carlos Serrano (S7) and Nelson Crispin (S6).

South Africa will have three swimmers in the water in Singapore, while Oceania will see seven athletes in the World Series – New Zealand’s four-time Paralympic champion Cameron Leslie among them.

The detailed schedule of Singapore 2023 can be found here.

The Citi Para Swimming World Series will be streamed live on Mediacorp Entertainment channel.