Challis, Maskill and Tai take medal hauls in Limoges

29 May 2023

Ellie Challis and Poppy Maskill made multiple visits to the Para Swimming World Series podium across the three days of competition in Limoges, with Alice Tai also twice securing gold on her return to the international stage.

The first ever Citi Para Swimming World Series in France provided a happy hunting ground for the British trio of Ellie, Poppy and Alice, who clinched 12 medals between them, of which eight were gold.

Around 250 swimmers from 29 nations took to the Aquapolis complex pool in Limoges - a city four hours drive south of the French capital where next year's Paralympic Games will be held, providing a valuable competition test on the international stage for the returning Tai (S8), who was making her first World Series appearance of 2023.

The Dave Heathcock-coached athlete was first to check a gold medal in British colours with victory in the Women’s MC 100m Freestyle, edging Maskill (S14) to the top spot of the podium by just five points in the multi-classification format. Maskill, however, did not have to wait long for a victory of her own, the Manchester Performance Centre athlete claiming Women’s MC 200m Individual Medley gold.

A British podium clean sweep rounded out the fruitful Friday finals, with Challis (S3) leading S14 pair Georgia Sheffield and Megan Neave on points at the conclusion of the Women’s MC 100m Freestyle A final.

The second day of the penultimate leg of the 2023 World Series was a continued display of Maskill and Challis’ rich vein of form, the former adding Women’s MC 400m Freestyle gold to her haul, while SB2 world champion Challis doubled her title tally with victory in the Women’s MC 50m Breaststroke, following on from a sprint silver in the Women’s MC 50m Backstroke earlier in the session.

Poppy Maskill [Grégory Picout FF Handisport]
Poppy Maskill in action

Turning to Sunday, the gold rush continued at pace - Tai producing an assured swim in the 100m Backstroke event, in which she retained her Commonwealth title last summer, to outscore Maskill in the MC competition format. In a repeat of day one, it wasn’t long before Maskill propelled herself to the top of the podium,  adding medal number five to her tally with victory in the Women’s MC 100m Butterfly, while Sheffield successfully followed in for her second silver of the meet.

Meanwhile, Challis ensured a golden end to her meet with triumph in the Women’s MC 50m Freestyle, with Tai taking silver to compliment her collection as part of an another British 1-2 in Limoges.

On top of those medal medals, among the collective 13 British swimmers in competitive action, a vast number of World Series finals progressions provided experience and fine tuning for the group on the international stage as attentions begin focusing on the home Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester in the summer. 

Para Swimming World Series France Website (Results):

Para Swimming World Series France livestream watchback:

Competing at the Citi Para Swimming World Series France, 26th-28th May:

  • Luke Batty
  • Oliver Carter
  • Ellie Challis
  • Tegan Davidson
  • Bruce Dee
  • Eliza Humphrey
  • Poppy Maskill
  • Jack Milne
  • Megan Neave
  • Georgia Sheffield
  • Fern Sneddon
  • Alice Tai
  • Zach Washington-Young
Alice Tai Podium France WPS23 [Grégory Picout FF Handisport]
Alice Tai on the Women's MC 100m Freestyle podium
Sheffield, Challis and Neave - France WPS23 [Grégory Picout FF Handisport]
Sheffield, Challis and Neave on the Women's MC 200m Freestyle podium