Montreal – Canada, August 19, 2013: The 2013 IPC Swimming Championships have closed with 43 new world records set and 172 gold medals awarded. After a thrilling final night in the pool at the Parc Jean Drapeau, Montreal, Canada, Ukraine finish top of the medals table, Russia second and Great Britain third.
During a speech at the closing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Xavier Gonzalez said:
“Athletes have entertained and amazed us across seven days where many world records have fallen, historic performances have been laid down and new champions to watch in the future have emerged.
“These athletes have, as ever, inspired us all and through their amazing performances have raised awareness of para-sport and para-swimming to entirely new audiences, fans and media.”
Nearly 480 athletes from 53 countries competed at the championships, in what was the biggest gathering of international swimmers since London 2012 and the first event of its kind in North America.
39 countries have won at least one medal, over half of the entire number of National Paralympic Committees that fielded teams, showing the huge continuing growth in para-swimming.
Reigning Paralympic and ten-time world champion Daniel Dias, who won six golds at Montreal 2013 said:
“I really enjoyed being here in Montreal, it’s a great city.
“No doubt I’m thinking of Rio now, there is a cycle that starts right now and Montreal was a good step.”
Face for the future, 20 year-old New Zealander Mary Fisher, who won her first Paralympic title in London and five world titles this week in Montreal said:
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more here in Montreal. It has been a great atmosphere and we are lucky to have the support of Team New Zealand behind us.
“I sure hope it gets even better in Rio I just have to do as much as I can. There is always new people coming through which is great. It’s been such a great competition here I’ll just enjoy that and then look forward with my coach to Rio.”
Canadian Paralympic champion Valerie Grand’Maison, who added to her six world titles with another three golds said:
“I heard the crowd on the last 50m where it hurt very much so this helped me to give everything on the last 50m. It’s great to have a championships in your home country
“We will see what happens in Rio – first we have the Pan-american Games here in Canada, this will be fun! And we will start with that first.”
The next IPC Swimming World Championships will be held in Glasgow in 2015, one year before the next Paralympic Games take place in Rio 2016. The 2015 Parapan American Games will also take place in Toronto in the same year. —- IPC/Photo © Mathieu Pothier