Competitors from across the globe have descended on the ‘Granite City’ for four days of action packed racing at the 2022 Para Swimming World Series opener, which incorporates this year's annual British Para-Swimming Meet.
Great Britain has been a mainstay fixture of the World Series calendar since its inception in 2017, with Aberdeen Sports Village set to become the third different UK venue to host the competition in that time.
Thirteen different nations will be represented in the pool over the four days (Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th February), with many testing themselves for the first time against international rivals since last summer’s Paralympic Games.
Close to 100 athletes are registered on the World Series start sheets, and for the British competitors, the event presents an opportunity to impress selectors ahead of June’s World Championships in Madeira, with this meet designated for athletes to post a time to be considered for selection. Meanwhile, with the British Para-Swimming Meet 2022 running in parallel, the future names of the sport will be able to soak up experience from competing in the very same environment as their peers.
Races will be conducted following the multi-classification format in which athletes’ times are converted to standardised points against their classification, and as a result serves up a number of potentially intriguing battles for the top step on the podium across the event programme.
The opening day of competition (Thursday 17th February) serves up an epic curtain raiser in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley, as SM6 Paralympic champion and world record holder Maisie Summers-Newton takes on the SM14 trio of Bethany Firth, Louise Fiddes and Jessica-Jane Applegate - who amassed nine medals between them in Tokyo and claimed positions 2-3-4 in their medley showdown at the Games.
The schedule continues on Friday with Lyndon Longhorne – who set five new S4 British records long course records in 2021 – doubling up for the second day running to contest the Men’s 50m Backstroke and 50m Breaststroke events, before Toni Shaw headlines her own busy racing return to her hometown with the Women’s 400m Freestyle event in which the six-time world medallist won a Paralympic bronze last August.
The meet closes out on Sunday evening with the Men’s 100m Butterfly, which provided a showpiece finish to proceedings in 2021, as Stephen Clegg set a stunning new S12 world record - and expectations are that the University of Edinburgh swimmer will face up against Reece Dunn (S14), ParalympicGB’s most decorated athlete at Tokyo 2020, in the concluding multiclass final of Aberdeen 2022.
With 18 members of the Tokyo 2020 British Paralympic team taking to the blocks among a 54-strong home cohort of athletes, the Para Swimming World Series inc. British Para Swimming Meet 2022 is all set to display the very best of British Para-Swimming.
Due to the ongoing COVID picture nationwide, this event will be staged behind closed doors, meaning no spectator access. However, you can settle into a ‘virtual’ front row seat, with every second of the morning's heats and evening finals livestreamed across our YouTube and Facebook channels, while the British Swimming social media channels will provide regular updates and insights from the athletes, with daily reports also being published on our website.
The full event schedule can be found here, with start lists and live results to be added throughout the meet.