Worlds’ spots in focus as World Series lands in United States

Paralympic champion Coan to lead the host nation challenge as 140 swimmers from 13 nations ready for major test ahead of Manchester 2023 19 Apr 2023
McKenzie Coan of USA picked up three gold medals at the last World Championships in Madeira, Portugal in 2022.
McKenzie Coan of USA picked up three gold medals at the last World Championships in Madeira, Portugal in 2022.
ⒸOctavio Passos / Getty Images
By Victor Pereira | For World Para Swimming

After crossing the globe with stops in Oceania and Europe, the Citi Para Swimming World Series lands in the Americas region for the first time this season with nearly 140 athletes from 13 nations set to be in action in Minneapolis, USA from 20 to 22 April.

During the three-day competition, Para swimmers will dive into the University of Minnesota’s pool for several multi-class races and, for many of them, there is an extra incentive beyond winning medals – booking their places in the most important competition of the season, the Manchester 2023 World Championships from 31 July to 6 August 2023. 

Among the top names to be in action at the University of Minnesota’s pool would be four-time Paralympic champion McKenzie Coan (S7) who would lead the host challenge. Despite having participated in four editions of the Worlds, Coan says the competition would be like one of the biggest races of her career.

Dress Rehearsal

“Every race is a dress rehearsal for the big moments. This World Series is also Team USA’s Worlds Team selection, and my game plan is to go out and execute just like I would at World Championships”, said Coan, who will be in the pool for the women’s 50m, 100m, and 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke events. 

“I’m excited to see what I can do and hopefully qualify to represent the Stars and Stripes in Manchester this summer,” she added. 

Coan will be joined by 68 other swimmers in the USA team to live this defining moment in front of their friends and family – an extra fuel to touch the wall at the lowest time. 

“It’s exciting to compete at any World Series meet, but I think there’s a little more to it when it’s in your home country. I always want to bring my best and show the world what Team USA is made of,” said Coan.

Strong Mexican presence

Among the visitors, Mexico has arrived with the largest delegation of 43 athletes led by five-time Paralympic champions Arnulfo Castorena and Nely Miranda Herrera. 

The 44-year-old Castorena (S2), who is in a journey to his 10th participation at the Worlds, will race in the men’s 50m breaststroke while Miranda Herrera (S4), even more experienced at 50, will take part in the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke besides 150m medley.

Among other big names expected to make a splash at the University of Minnesota’s pool are Brazil’s three-time Paralympic champion Maria Carolina Santiago (S12) competing in women’s 50m, 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke, while Ireland’s Ellen Keane (S8) swims two races, the women’s 100m butterfly and 100m breaststroke.

Originally scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, IN, the competition was moved due to unforeseen pool maintenance at the original venue. 

The Citi World Series USA will be streamed live on World Para Swimming Facebook page.