British stars take on the world as Manchester 2023 gets underwayJuly 31, 2023
An elite squad of 27 British para-swimmers are preparing to be cheered on by a vocal home crowd as the World Para-Swimming Championships get underway on Monday 31 July.
The week-long Championships are taking place at the newly refurbished Manchester Aquatics Centre just one year out from the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.
More than 500 para-swimmers from 67 nations are set to compete in the North West for the 11th edition of the event.
It’s the third time that the competition has been held in the UK with two of those being in England. Back in 2015, Glasgow hosted the event before the memorable 2019 Championships in London in where Great Britain finished second in the medal table.
Channel 4 are also broadcasting a one-hour highlights programme on Sunday 20 August at 8.30am.
A strong British line-up
The British team selected features 15 athletes that took to the pool in London four years ago and ten swimmers who took World Championship gold in Madeira last June.
Among them was Maisie Summers-Newton who had a stunning Worlds debut, winning a medal of each colour at the London Aquatics Centre.
She spearheads a British team alongside Alice Tai won the most medals of any individual in 2019 with seven gold medals in the nations capital.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Champion Tai won gold on her world debut in Glasgow back in 2015 too and she’ll be joined in Manchester by both Jessica-Jane Applegate and Tully Kearney who also topped the podium in Scotland.
Ellie Challis, Grace Harvey and Poppy Maskill who all came away with world titles last year are also part of a strong British squad that have a number of medal hopes for this year’s edition of the event.
For a number of the English swimmers, this will be the second major competition on home soil in as many years, with Applegate, Jordan Catchpole, Louise Fiddes, Maskill, Rebecca Redfern, Summers-Newton, Grace Harvey and Tai all representing Team England at the Commonwealth Games last year.
For others the event will serve as an opportunity to make their senior British debuts with William Ellard, Georgia Sheffield and Siena Oxby all looking to impress and gain experience on home turf.
Speaking at the pre-event Championship press conference, Summers-Newton commented on how different it was coming into her second home worlds:
“I definitely feel the expectation little bit this time – like my face is around the poolside and it’s on some of the banners and that’s definitely something to get used to!
“It puts a little bit of pressure on myself but really I know it’s important I come here and enjoy it, to take that pressure off myself and enjoy the atmosphere a home crowd brings.
“I’d love to defend my title and get some gold medals, or any type of medal would be amazing, but I think the main thing is to try and have fun and enjoy it as we’re only a year out from Paris. I want to lay down some really good times, training’s been going well so hopefully that will reflect what I can do in the pool.”