18 World Records Fall at the 2021 WPS World Series Finale in Berlin

2021 World Para Swimming World Series Finale

  • June 17-20, 2021
  • Schwimm und Sprunghalle, Europasportspark, Berlin, Germany
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Live Streams
  • Results

A total of 18 World Records were broken in Berlin from Thursday through Sunday at the 2021 World Para Swimming World Series Finale. 450 international swimmers competed in the event in Berlin.

This year’s series has been fairly regional, largely because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, though they’ve also been crucial events for athletes to get their classification tests done.

This meet was largely made up of fields from Europe and Asia, with Americans and Australians at home competing at their respective Paralympic Trials.

Two-time Paralympic champion Karolina Pelendritou of Cyprus took down the SB11 women’s 50 breast World Record twice on Saturday. In prelims, she posted a time of 36.55 to undercut the previous record (38.02) set by China’s Xiaotong Zhang at the 2016 Paralympics. In finals, Pelenditrou swam a 36.13.

Earlier during that same Saturday finals session, Prelenditrou crushed the S11 50 free World Record with a time of 30.20. She beat the previous record, 30.22, set by Ukraine’s Maryna Piddubna in 2018.

Pelenditrou was one of three athletes to break the same record twice on Saturday. In the men’s 50 breast, Germany’s Taliso Engel broke the SB13 World Record on home soil with a time of 29.31, crushing the previous record set by Uzbekistan’s Firdavsbek Musabekov in 2018 by .37. In finals. Engel broke it again with a time of 29.26.

In the same event, Spain’s Antoni Ponce Bertran broke his own SB5 World Record with a time of 40.23, beating his 2020 self by .51. Later that day, he broke 40.00 and swam a 39.98 to break his World Record a second time.

China’s Tao Zheng took down a couple of World Records throughout the meet. He started with the S5 men’s 50 back on Friday where he posted a 32.48 to break the World Record set by China’s Lichao Wang at 32.59 in 2019. Zheng has been reclassified and still holds the S6 World Record in this event (32.56) from 2016.

Zheng also broke the S5 50 fly World Record on Sunday, posting a time of 30.88 to demolish the previous record set by was China’s Lichao Wang at 31.52 in 2019.

On Friday, Germany’s Josia Topf  broke the SM2 150IM World Record by 26 seconds with a time of 3:23.00. That record was set by Mexico’s Cristopher Gregorio Tronco Sanchez in 2020. Tropf took down the record a second time in finals (3:22.21).

The second World Record that fell on Friday came in the men’s 800 free where Israel’s Mark Malyar broke his own S7 World Record from 2019 by more than 13 seconds with a time of 9:44.19.

During Thursday’s prelims session, Blanka Pop of Hungary broke the SM10 women’s 400 IM World Record by about 6 seconds with a time of 5:17.79. 18-year-old Nora Meister of Switzerland took down the S6 women’s 200 back World Record by 3 seconds with a time of 2:50.65.

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe held the previous S10 400 IM record from 2019 and Germany’s Verena Schott had set the previous S6 200 back record in April.

Later that day, Israel’s Ami Dadaon posted a 2:50.92 in the men’s 200 free to break his own S4 World Record from May by .88.

In the same finals session, the Netherlands’ Chantalle Zijderveld cracked her own SB9 World Record from 2020  in the women’s 100 breast with a time of 1:11.95. Her previous record was  1:12.23. 

Dadaon’s NPC Israel teammate Malyar broke his own S7 men’s 800 free record on Friday with a time of 9:44.19, taking 14 seconds off the time he posted in 2019.

On the last day of competition, two World Records set by Americans fell in the women’s 200 breast prelims event. 15-year-old Evelin Szaraz of Hungary took down the SB6 WR with a time of3:30.96 PR was 3:34.43 by Team USA’s Sophia Herzog in 2019.

Germany’s Elena Krawzow posted the other World Record on home soil, breaking the SB13 record with a time of 2:44.13. The previous record was set by Team USA’s Colleen Young at 2:45.40 in 2019.

During the same session, Mexico’s Marcos Zarate Rodriguez set the SM3 men’s 200 IM record at 4:19.48, taking 10.5 seconds off the previous record set by Greece’s Ioannis Kostakis in 2014. In the men’s 200 breast, Russia’s Artur Saifutdinov broke his own SB12 World Record from 2019 by half-a-second with a time of 2:25.18.

Two World Records fell during the last finals session of the meet: the women’s SM4 200 IM record and the men’s SM11 200 IM record.

Germany’s Gina Böttcher crushed her own SM4 200 World Record from November 2020 by about 2 seconds with a time of 4:06.86, and the Netherlands’ Rogier Dorsman broke his own SM11 World Record from April by .19 with a time of 2:20.40.

Notably, three Canadian records were set on day one. This is unique because normally Canadian para swimmers race at the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Trials, but that was disrupted this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Candian Olympic Trials were first postponed, leading to their Paralympic Trials being canceled because they were scheduled to conflict with the WPS World Series Finale in Berlin. 

Nikita Ens set two of these Canadian National Records, first posting a 5:00.58 in the women’s 200 free S3 to demolish her own record by nearly 45 seconds. She then swam a 3:39.85 in the 100 breast SB2, breaking her own record by about 1.3 seconds. Gabriel Martel cracked a Canadian National record which was set nearly four decades ago by Tim McIsaac at the 1984 Paralympic Games by posting a 1:25.01 in the men’s 100 breast S11. He beat the previous record by .51.

“As so many have lost so much in the last year and a half, I feel extremely privileged and honoured to have been in a position to facilitate our athletes’ pursuit of their dreams to represent Canada this summer,” said Michael Edey, assistant coach at the High Performance Centre – Quebec in Montreal and one the Canadian coaches in Berlin in a press release.

“The Berlin World Series stop has, once again, proved a pivotal piece of our team preparation and our outcomes here is a testament to the vision and professionalism of athletes and staff.”

What’s Next?

Swimmers competed in the 2021 WPS World Series over five meets, starting in April and going through mid-June.

Now, World Para Swimming will calculate point scores using the results from all 2021 World Series meets and filter them through a ranking system to name 7 titles:

  • Best Overall Athlete (for male and female)
  • Best High Support Need Athlete (for male and female)
  • Best Junior Athlete (for male and female)
  • Best NPC

The postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are scheduled for August 24 – September 5, 2021, with the swimming competition scheduled from August 25 through September 3.

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1 year ago

This is second article in two days with a major mistake with a HUNGARIAN NAME, NOT BLANKA POP, BUT BIANKA PAP!!!
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