IPC awards Swimming European Championships to Madeira

Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira will host the 2016 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming European Open Championships.

The event will be staged from May 15-21 and, as an open championship, it will give swimmers an additional opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. About 450 athletes from 50 countries are expected to compete at the Complexo Olimpico de Piscinas da Penteada facility.

“With the World Championships taking place in Glasgow, Great Britain, in July, we are really pleased to add Funchal 2016 to the schedule of major events taking place ahead of the next Paralympic Games,” IPC chief executive officer Xavier Gonzalez said.

“Madeira will provide a beautiful setting for the Championships and the Complexo Olimpico de Piscinas da Penteada is an incredibly impressive, sophisticated venue considered to be one of the best in Europe,” he added. “We expect the European Open to be the perfect curtain-raiser for Rio as athletes attempt to secure the last qualification spots just four months out, and will be a good indicator of form for those who have already booked their places.”

The 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships were held in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Glasgow welcomes this year’s event to the Tollcross International Swimming Centre – the competition venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games – from July 13-19.