2018 in Review: World Para Swimming World Series

Brazil’s Daniel Dias and Great Britain’s Louise Fiddes win second edition

male Para swimmer Daniel Dias holding a gold medal and female Para swimmer Louise Fiddes holding a trophy Daniel Dias and Louise Fiddes are the 2018 World Series champions © •

A Paralympic multi-champion who never gets tired of winning new titles, an emerging talent ready to shine in Tokyo and more than 20 new world records marked the second edition of the World Series in 2018.

If there was any doubt about the success of the World Series after the first season, the second year definitely established the series among the most important competitions in the Para swimming calendar.

Brazil’s 14-time Paralympic champion Daniel Dias retained the men’s individual title following his performances in the Sao Paulo and Berlin World Series.

“More countries participated this year. It was great to see this level of involvement. It was a nice surprise to see that I won,” said the 30-year-old swimmer.

Great Britain’s 17-year-old Louise Fiddes took both the women’s individual title and the best female junior athlete title for her results in the Sheffield and Berlin World Series.

“Going to the podium all the time is something new to me. I didn’t think it would happen at all,” said Fiddes, a swimmer to look out for at the 2019 World Championships in Kuching, Malaysia, and 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Singapore’s Yip Pin Xiu took the women’s S/SB 1-3 High Support Needs title while Chile’s Alberto Abarza won the men’s S/SB 1-3 High Support Needs. Iceland's Robert Jonsson was the best junior male athlete in the 2018 season.

A quick lookback at the six 2018 World Series.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The season’s first stop saw Liesette Bruinsma of the Netherlands and Stephen Clegg of Great Britain break world records in the Bellahoej Svoemmestadion in March.

Bruisma established a new world mark in the women’s 100m freestyle S11 while Clegg broke the men’s 50m butterfly S12 world record twice in two days.

Indianapolis, USA

The home swimmers dominated the second World Series of the year with victories from Paralympic champions Jessica Long, McKenzie Coan, Michelle Konkoly and Rebecca Meyers.

Indianapolis marked Great Britain’s Paralympic winner Ellie Simmonds return to international competition and a first victory for Afghan-born Independent Para Athlete Mohammad Abas Karimi.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Daniel Dias with three golds and Argentina’s Daniela Gimenez with four medals (two gold) stood out at the National Paralympic Training Centre.

Alberto Abarza was another name to shine among the Latin American athletes as the Chilean S2 swimmer grabbed one gold and two silver medals.

Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy

The Italian city could not have hoped for a better debut as a World Series host with more than 260 swimmers from 31 countries.

Home hero Carlotta Gilli took five medals in five events while there also were multiple wins for Ihar Boki of Belarus and Yelyzaveta Mereshko of Ukraine.

Sheffield, Great Britain

The penultimate World Series of the year had a British dominance with Maisie Summers-Newton (S6) and Alice Tai (S8) breaking world records.

Daniel Dias practically clinched his second World Series title following three victories in the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

Berlin, Germany

The 2018 World Series saved best for last with daily world records from home and international swimmers.

Germany’s Elena Krawzow (SB12), the Netherlands' Chantalle Zijderveld (SB9), Mexico’s Diego Lopez (S3), Canada’s Aurelie Rivard (S10) and World Series winner Louise Fiddes (S14) were some of the swimmers to make new world marks in the German capital.