A series of countries have named their best swimmers with an intellectual impairment who will compete at the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City between 30 September – 6 October.
Rio 2016 hosts Brazil will be aiming to build off their performances from last year’s Paralympic Games, fielding two S14 swimmers.
Felipe Vila Real and Beatriz Borges Carneiro will compete in the men’s and women’s events respectively. Vila Real is a multiple medallist and champion from the International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Global Games in 2015.
Amongst a 26-strong team travelling to Mexico from Great Britain is World Intellectual Impairment Sport Ambassador and Rio 2016 medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate. The 20-year-old left Brazil with two silver medals from the women’s 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley. Applegate is also the defending 100m backstroke world champion.
Jack Thomas is another highlight for the British team who returns to the global stage. After a promising performance at the 2014 European Championships where he claimed three medals, Thomas was forced to miss the 2015 Worlds because of a wrist injury.
Jordan Catchpole and Connor Morrison round off the men’s team with Louise Fiddes completing the women’s squad for Great Britain.
“The team we have selected is a strong team based on their impressive performances at the British Summer Championships [in Sheffield, Great Britain],” British head coach Rob Aubry said.
“In Sheffield, we saw athletes break records and show that they were at their best at the right time. What impressed me the most in Sheffield is that they took on board the importance of the meet and showed the best possible race plan at the right time.
“I’m pleased with the continued progress and the support we are able to put around our athletes. We are continuing to strive to be the best both in and out the water.
“In Mexico we will have a tough challenge and we know there will be some new athletes that our athletes will face. It will be testing environment and athletes will be expected to race consistently while continuing training at a key point in the season.”
Fifteen-year-old Lawrence Sapp will make his major international debut for the USA in the men’s S14.
Around 550 swimmers from more than 60 countries are expected to compete at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool during the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships.
Many of the same athletes will then return to Mexico for the 2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Swimming Championships in Aguascalientes between 28 November – 3 December. The competition will be the biggest gathering of swimmers with an intellectual impairment of 2017.