World Record broken by Bandeira in 200m Individual Medley

Day 5 highlights from World Para-Swimming Championship, Madeira 2022

Men’s 200m IM

Nicholas Bennett, Gabriel Bandeira and Dmytro Vanzenko (from left)

It was another great swim for the rising star from Brazil, Gabriel Bandeira in the pool today. Bandeira, who was looking strong from the initial lap itself, claimed another Championship title along with a New World Record with 2:07.50sec.

Taking the second place was Canada’s favourite – Nicholas Bennet with 2:10.23sec.

While there was a close fight for the bronze between the Bazilian Oliviera and Ukraine’s Dmytro Vanzenko, but the Ukrainian took the final shot and won the Bronze.

Women’s 200m IM

Jessica-Jane, Bethany Firth and Louise Fiddles from GBR (from left)

British swimmers once again had a dramatic win in Women’s 200m IM. It was an exciting race between the British rivals and friends, Jessica-Jane Applegate and Bethany Firth in 200m IM today. Both the swimmers took a significant lead from rest of the swimmers whilst challenging one another. Bethany took out Jessica in the third lap with her strong breaststroke and won her first World championship title in this event with 2:26.69sec.

Meanwhile, Paige Leonhardt from Australia caught up with Jessica for the second place but Jessica used her long pulls in the final lap of freestyle to grab the silver with 2:30.19sec.

The ultimate twist came in the race when Louise Fiddes beat Paige by just 0:00.07sec and took the final podium spot, making it another British podium from this event. She clocked a time of 2:32.10 sec.

Skip to 1:50:21 to watch the race.

Yamaguchi breaks Championship record two times in 100m Breaststroke

SB14 Men’s 100m Breaststroke

This was one of the most dramatic event in S14 category so far. Naohide Yamaguchi (JPN), Gabrield Bandeira (BRA), Jake Michel (AUS) and Brutos de Oliveira (BRA) staged a thrilling race for the audience, especially in the first 50m where all the four swimmers took the turns almost at the same time. But, it was the Paralympic champion and WR holder Yamaguchi who took an easy lead later and defended his title.

The Japanese swimmer broke the Championship record twice in this event at Madeira 2022, setting it at 1:04.46sec.

Jake Michel (AUS), Naohide Yamaguchi (JPN) and Brutos de Oliveira (BRA) (from left)

Winning the Silver was Jake Michel who had a tough fight from the Brazilians- Bandeira and Oliveira, but managed to protect his ranking with a timing of 1:05.02sec. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic podium ranking was repeated in the finals of Men’s SB14 100m breaststroke for the first two places.

Brutos de Oliveira settled for the Bronze with 1:05.29sec while Bandeira celebrated his fourth position, improving his timing and ranking compared to Tokyo 2020 where he couldn’t get into the finals.

SB14 100m Women’s Breaststroke

The triple Paralympic Champion, Michele Alonso Morales from Spain took the lead from the start and had a clean win over her fellow swimmers with 1:15.13sec.

Paige Leonhardt (AUS), Michele Alonso (ESP) and Debora Carneiro (BRA) (from left)

Alonso has been dominating this event for almost a decade now, won gold in 2013 and in 2017 and set the World Record at the Tokyo Paralympics.

There was a challenging race between Brazil’s Debora Carneiro and Paige Leonhardt for the second place but in the end Paige took the silver home with 1:16.44sec and Carneiro settles for the Bronze with 1:17.25sec.

Skip to 52:50 to watch the race and 1:44:50 for the medal ceremony

Championship record broken twice by Benjamin Hance in one day

On day-2, the audience witnessed thrilling races at the finals of S-14 100m Backstroke.

S14 Men’s 100m Backstroke

World record holder from Australia, Benjamin Hance had a sensational swim in S14 Men’s 100m Backstroke breaking the championship record twice in one day. Keeping his performance at top notch, Hance stayed ahead of all the swimmers from the very beginning and had a smooth win with 57.34secs (CR), breaking his previous record which he broke during the qualifying heats in the morning (57.77sec).

(From left) Gabriel Bandeira (BRA), Benjamin Hance (AUS) and Alexander Hillhouse (DEN)

Gabriel Bandeira (BRA) tried to catch up with Benjamin but could not beat last years’ Paralympic Champion and settled for Silver with a timing of 59.86sec.

There was a tough fight between Vasyl Krainyk from Ukraine and Alexander Hillhouse from Denmark but it was the 18 year old Danish swimmer who grabbed the final spot on the podium with a timing of 1:00.32sec.

S14 Women’s 100m Backstroke

Another clean sweep of medals was done by the women from Great Britain.

While the audience was hooked up on the fastest swimmer from the heats – Poppy Maskill (GBR) who was competing in her first World Championship, Bethany Firth was a very experienced player to defeat in her favourite event.

(From left) Poppy Maskill, Bethany Firth and Jessica-Jane Applegate from GBR

The seventeen year old, Maskill gave Firth a tough competition but Bethany, with her quick reaction time and great finishing strategy, defended her championship title successfully.

The three time Paralympic Champion – Bethany took the Gold with a time of 1:06.96sec while Maskill touched the finish line at 1:07.59sec and was delighted to take Silver with her from her first World Championship. 

Soares de Oliveira from Brazil tried to challenge Jessica-Jane for the bronze in the last 25m but Jessica took bronze just by a margin of 0:00.48sec.

Skip to 2:44.01 to watch the race and to 3:31.46 for the medal ceremony.


New Championship Record for Bandeira at Madeira 2022

The World Para-swimming Championship kicked off yesterday in the beautiful island of Madeira. The event will continue until 18 June.

On day-1, the audience witnessed some thrilling race for the final of S-14 200m freestyle for Men and Women.

S14 Men’s 200m Freestyle

While all eyes were glued on World Record holder and Paralympic champion Reece Dunn from Great Britain, Gabriel Bandeira from Brazil and Nicholas Bennett from Canada put up a dramatic race for the audience.

(From left) Nicholas Bennett (CAN), Gabriel Bandeira (BRA) and Benjamin Hance (AUS) P.C- World Para Swimming

Leading the race in the first lap was Gabriel Bandeira who was soon left behind by Nicholas in the second lap giving some hope to Canadians for the Gold. However, Gabriel made a great comeback in the third lap and grabbed the gold with a new World Championship record of 1:52.42sec leaving the silver for Nicholas (1:54.41sec).

Bandeira missed the world record just by 0:00.02sec.

Benjamin Hance from Australia settles for Bronze with a timing of 1:56.14sec.

Skip to 1:33.00 to watch the race and to 2:49.22sec for the medal ceremony.

S14 Women’s 200m Freestyle

World Record holder Bethany Firth from Great Britain lead the race from the beginning. With almost a 5m gap by the end of the second lap, it was difficult for her fellow British swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate to close up the distance who was swimming in the second place.

(From left) Jessica-Jane, Bethany Firth and Louise Fiddes from GBR P.C- World Para Swimming

Australia’s Ruby Storm was chasing Louise Fiddes for the Bronze but was not successful in her attempt.

The podium was dominated by the British swimmers, with Bethany (2:08.72sec) taking the Gold, Jessica-Jane taking the Silver with 2:10.26sec and Louise Fiddes grabbing the last podium spot with 2:13.07sec.

Skip to 1:39.0 to watch the race and to 2:52.40sec for the medal ceremony.


For live results, visit

Virtus welcomes five new members to the family- Karate to be in GG2023

Five new members were welcomed to the Virtus family on 5th June during the Federations General Assembly.

National Member Organisations for Latvia and Bulgaria were joined by the International Federations World Karate and EDGA (golf). Meanwhile in the National Federation category, Shinshidokan-Kai was approved (Pakistan).

Zane Skujina- representing Latvia was present in the assembly and was very excited to be part of Virtus.


Zane Skujina from Latvia with Barry Holman (left) and Marc Truffaut (right) from Virtus

“Joining Virtus Sport is a big stepping stone for the Latvian Paralympic committee and the people with intellectual impairment in Latvia. Over the years we had people, who were interested in sports for people with II, but we could only offer them local sports communities, without any chance of getting to be an elite-level athletes. Now, being a Virtus member opens so many doors not only for inclusion but also for elite sports. We are happy to be a part of the Virtus family and looking forward to develop sports community for people with intellectual impairment.” says Ms. Skujina.

With World Para-Karate Federation becoming one of Virtus new member and considering the success athletes with intellectual impairments (K21 and K22 class) had in 2021 World Para-Karate Championship in Dubai, Virtus have now decided to include Karate in the upcoming 2023 Global Games in Vichy as a full medal event.

Dušana Čierna Augustovičová (centre) from WKF with Barry Holman (left) and Marc Truffaut (right)

To be a full Virtus member is a step forward in our intention to maximize opportunities in the development of Karate for people with intellectual impairment.” says Ms. Dušana Čierna Augustovičová from World Para-Karate federation.

“I am so glad the Virtus Governing Board included para-karate classes K21 and K22 into the program of the Virtus Global Games. It is the signature event for elite athletes with intellectual impairments to compete in the highest level, international multi-sport” elite competition. It is exciting because it is also the pathway to the Paralympics in several disciplines.”

Virtus President- Marc Truffaut says, “We are very delighted to welcome new members onboard with us and with their support, we will be nurturing new talents into elite sports for athletes with an intellectual impairment”

With the addition of new national members, Virtus now has 95 member organisations, the largest in the history of the organisation.

2022 Virtus General Assembly and conference held in Vichy, France

The 2022 Virtus General Assembly took place last weekend in Vichy, France, marking a number significant moments for the Virtus family.

The weekend began with the first in-person meeting of the Virtus Governing Board since the before global pandemic.

This was followed by the launch of the #1YearToGo clock for the upcoming 2023 Virtus Global Games in Vichy, in a ceremony hosted by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, a key partner in the event and a tour of the Games venues and facilities.

On 4th June, there was a one-day conference held with all members to discuss progress towards the Virtus strategic plan and to discuss the impact of covid-19 on Virtus and it’s members whilst on 5th June, the formal General Assembly took place.

More than 30 Virtus members were present in Vichy, whilst others joined online in the first ‘hybrid’ event of its kind within Virtus.

The Assembly returned Marc Truffaut as President for a further term, whilst new member organisations including World Karate Federation were also welcomed to the Virtus family.

Marc Truffaut re-elected to lead Virtus for the next term

Marc Truffaut (FRA) has been elected Virtus President for a second term in elections held on 5th June in Vichy, France.

On his election, Marc thanked the members and looked to the challenge ahead.

“The world faces many difficulties at the moment, but Virtus will continue to strive for the inclusion of people with an intellectual impairment in society, using sport to create fair and more equal world. I am grateful to have this opportunity and thank the Virtus members for placing their faith in me once again.”

Also elected were Birol Aydin (TUR), Patrick Chan (HKG), Amal Mobadda (EGY), Barry Holman (USA) and Fausto Pereira (POR) who join existing members Robyn Smith (AUS), Humberto Ferreira (BRA), Hiro Taniguchi (JPN)

The Board comprises 9 elected members and 2 co-opted members (Prof Jan Burns – GBR and Ian Conyers – USA).

With the 2023 Global Games heading to France next year, Marc will play a major role in leading both Virtus and FFSA towards another grand edition of the pinnacle event where more than 1000 athletes are expected in the largest competition programme to date.


Group of people representing Virtus Global Games and La Region surround Lorri the Lorikeet mascot

One year to go until Global Games 2023 in Vichy France

Group of people representing Virtus Global Games and La Region surround Lorri the Lorikeet mascot

Global Games 2023 Vichy France countdown to one year to go.

At a press conference today, at the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Regional Council, in Lyon, Virtus Governing Board and members attended the one year to go countdown to the 2023 Virtus Global Games (GG2023).

The Virtus Global Games is the signature event for athletes with intellectual impairment to compete in the highest level, international multi-sport elite competition. Held every four years, GG2023 will be the sixth edition of the Games in Virtus’ 35-year history.

Marc Truffaut, President of Virtus and Fédération Française du Sport Adapte (FFSA), said the journey to reach the one year to go milestone, is made possible with the overwhelming support from the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Regional Council.

Sandrine Chaix, vice-president of the Region in charge of social action and disability, congratulated the host committee.

“The Global Games are a fantastic opportunity for Vichy, our Region but also France to welcome on its territory of high-level athletes with invisible disabilities. We want to succeed a great mobilization of the public and regional actors so that these games are a unforgettable moment for all. You can count on my personal commitment, and that of the Region, to support this organization, its development and its ambitions. Our athletes deserve it so much! “

“I would like to thank the council and Ms Sandrine Chaix, Vice president of the Regional Council and delegate of social action and disability, for the funding and support to enable FFSA to bring the Virtus Global Games to the region,” Mr Truffaut said.

“For GG2023, we are expecting about 60 nations to bring about 1100 athletes and officials and will look to have about 400 volunteers to support the delivery of the competition in nine sport disciplines.”

“I am also appreciative of the knowledge and support from the previous team at GG2019 in Brisbane, and for bringing Lorri to be the GG2023 Mascot.”

Robyn Smith, Vice President of Virtus and CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia said the Virtus Global Games is more than elite competition, it is the way Virtus can support athletes with intellectual impairment to demonstrate their courage, character, excellence, and integrity.

“It is especially exciting to know that Lorri, who was the first mascot for Global Games in Brisbane in 2019, will continue to be part of the Virtus Games legacy,” Ms Smith said.

“Lorri was designed by a Brisbane school student to represent the excitement, colour, individuality, and inclusivity of the Global Games.”

“From the first moment Lorri came to life, people loved engaging with the mascot and Lorri is one of the most memorable experiences for the athletes also.”

The Virtus Global Games 2023 will be held in Vichy France from 4 -10 June 2023. In a year’s time, Lorri will proudly welcome athletes, their families, and friends from around the world to this beautiful region to compete against the best French athletes.

In attendance at the one year to go countdown launch were over 50 members from the Virtus community, including the Virtus governing board members, international federation members, and national member organisations representing every region.

Congratulations to everyone here involved in the planning of Global Games 2023.

For more information visit and follow on socials to stay updated.

Swimming official training workshop completed in France

The Virtus Swimming Committee recently ran training courses for swimming officials in France between 11th and 15th May, in conjunction with the Championnat de Natacion de Sport Adapte near Vichy, France.

During this period several French national officials undertook the Virtus Level 2 training, aimed at providing an improved awareness of officiating at a Virtus event, and developing officials as judges for Virtus for the future, especially the 2023 Global Games.

Following a pilot training session in France last December, a small number of Referee candidates were selected for the “international” judges training module, the Virtus Level 3 to run at the same time as the French championships.

This included a full day of “classroom” instruction covering details on the role and responsibilities of referee and control room supervisor, followed by 2 days of practical mentoring as referee and judge of stroke and then 2 days of observation and assessment by the Virtus Sport Director for Swimming.

After the training, four candidates were successful in achieving the necessary level – Bernard Berge, Agnes Brunet, Maryvonne Brault and Michel Picard.

Virtus Swimming Director- Dave Harman sais, “I would like to congratulate all the four technical officials who passed the international judges training. With the Virtus Global Games coming to France next year, these officials will play a significant role at the games and lead the poolside team. Some of the officials may be selected to assist at other major events in the future which will be of great help for the LOC’s.”

The Virtus Swimming Committee have developed a range of training modules for officials and for LOCs and volunteers and will be conducting more workshops in the future to include more officials to the experienced team of officials and to help LOCs in planning and managing events.


French players settle debts from Tokyo Paralympics at ITTF SQF French Para Open 2022

The ITTF SQF French Para Open took place from 5th to 8th May in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France. Several Tokyo Paralympic medalists including Florian Van Acker, Sam Von Einem, Maki Ito, Lea Ferney along with many others made their way to the tournament. Some interesting matches were witnessed by the crowd in the Class 11 category.


 In Women’s section, Sayuri Mio (JPN) beat Mako Ito (JPN)  3-1 (8-11, 11-7,12-10, 15-13) in the semi-finals to enter the finals. Meanwhile, on another table, French paddler Lea Ferney repeated Tokyo semi-final history by thrashing Japan’s Kanami Furukawa by 3-2 (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 1-11, 10-12) and confirmed her place in the finals. Both the finalist gave a tough competition to each other before Sayuri Mio succumbed to Lea Ferney’s smashes. Lea claimed the championship title in Women’s singles by 3-2 points.

In the Men’s section, Florian Van Acker from Belgium secured his place in the finals with an easy win over South Korea’s Tae Kim Gi with a score of 3-2. Meanwhile, a nerve wrecking match was staged by the Lucas Creange (FRA) and Sam Einem (AUS). Paralympic bronze medalist – Lucas and Silver medalist Sam Von, both draw swords on the table to secure their place in the finals. While the host player Lucas dominated the first two sets with 11-6, 11-8, Sam made fantastic comeback in the third and fourth set with 8-11, 10-12. However, it was a sad day for the two times Paralympic Silver medalist Sam Von Einem as he lost the last match by 5-11 to Lucas and couldn’t make it to the finals, and settled for Bronze.

Like the female counterpart, Lucas had a glorious victory in front of his home crowd and won the Gold with a smooth win over Belgium’s Florian Van by 3-0.


Two teams each from Japan and French entered the semifinals and showcased exciting matches. French players, Lea Ferney and Lucas Creange teamed up together for the mixed doubles and stayed undefeated. The power duos won both the quarterfinal and semifinal in the first three sets entering the finals. They continued their winning strokes in the finals and brought the Mixed Doubles title home too with a score of 3-1, placing Japan’s Koya Kato and Ito Maki in second.

With a little more than a year to go for the 2023 Virtus Global Games in Vichy, host nation’s players seems to be all set for the pinnacle event next year.

For full results on ITTF SQF French Para Open 2022, click here.