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World Para Swimming Series adds Italian date, targets first Asian event

World Para Swimming (WPS) has expanded its World Series by adding a new meet in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, and is in talks to secure its first event in Asia.

Lignano Sabbiadoro will form part of the 2018 World Series, with the Udine-based town to play host from May 24-27.

The five host cities that formed the inaugural 2017 series will return next year. They are: Berlin, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; Indianapolis, USA; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Sheffield, England.

One more city can still be added to the calendar for next year, with WPS currently in negotiations to take the series to Asia for the first time.

WPS manager Tracy Glassford said: “World Para Swimming is in discussions with possible hosts in Asia and we hope we will have good news for the next season. We are extremely happy with the results achieved this year and to have Italy added to our competition calendar in 2018. Our aim now is to make the World Series even more global, reaching cities in other continents.”

The World Series is designed to bring together some of Para swimming’s leading events with the sport’s best athletes.

The WPS is encouraging swimmers to compete in more than one event during the 2018 series. Should athletes swim in more than one competition, their two best World Series performance scores will be added up. The WPS said it has adjusted the 2018 calendar by dates and regions to help athletes and National Paralympic Committees plan their schedules.

Ryan Montgomery, the International Paralympic Committee’s summer sports director, said: “The World Series was created to offer athletes, fans and all those involved in Para swimming a regular competition calendar with important events outside the World and Regional Championships.

“It has given us the possibility to work in closer contact with Local Organising Committees, NPCs and NFs exchanging experiences and knowledge in areas such as competition management, education and classification. We are looking forward to another great season.”

Brazil’s Daniel Dias (pictured) and Italy’s Monica Boggioni won the individual men’s and women’s titles at the 2017 series. Chile’s Alberto Albarza and Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Gabidullina topped the S/SB 1-3 High Support Needs rankings.