Ian Silverman, Erraid Davies to Try for Reclassification in Berlin

Two of the biggest names in Para swimming, Ian Silverman and Erraid Davies, will undergo classification reviews this week at the German International Championships, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced.

Both Silverman and Davies over the last few years have been ruled ineligible for Para competition by the IPC in certain strokes due to a determination that their physical impairments were no longer severe enough to warrant participation under the IPC umbrella in those strokes.

Silverman, a sophomore on the varsity team at USC, will face his classification test on Tuesday, June 7th. He was the 2012 Paralympic champion in the 400 meter freestyle in the S10 class (athletes with the least-severe impairment). He is the holder of 25 American Records (12 in short course yards, 13 in long course meters) in the S10 class.

Silverman has cerebral palsy, and will face a standard test of a Range of Motion test on dry-land, and then an in-the-water test where the swimmer is observed in the water performing each of the 4 strokes.

Late last year, the IPC overhauled its testing procedures, including extending the in-water test to no more than 50 meters (read more here). Former U.S. Paralympian Tom Miazga (who also has cerebral palsy) says he believes that the new rules will work in Silverman’s favor.

“The biggest thing is that they can’t add more than 2 points back to a category in the water,” Miazga said. He’s referring to the points system used to classify swimmers, and says that “this is where he got hurt in Toronto (at his last classification), where they added way more than 2 points in the water.”

More points will move a swimmer up to a  different classification, with higher classifications generally having faster times.

With the U.S. Paralympic Trials coming in three weeks in Charlotte, this could be Silverman’s last chance to return to the mix for a spot on Team USA.

Davies was ruled ineligible more recently, just having been tested earlier this year. Her fame was gained when she won a bronze medal at the 2015 Commonwealth Games when she was only 13, and her image captured the hearts of the Scottish public. She formerly competed as an SB9.

Davies’ classification comes on Wednesday afternoon.

Other standouts currently on the list:

  • American Record holder McKenzie Coan, who is currently an S8, but may fall to an S7 under new criteria for short stature, is being tested on Tuesday. She would become an immediate medal favorite in the S7 class.
  • British swimmer Stephanie Millward, a 5-time medalist at the 2012 Paralympics, is currently and S9, but will be tested on Wednesday morning. She has multiple sclerosis.


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Will be looking for an update on this story later in the week. Bonus comment: the Paralympic trials entries are already uploaded and available for viewing in meet mobile.


Will also be looking for an update. I would have liked to have seen a few others on this list though.

What I don’t like is that we have yet another classification system in use meaning that between London 2012 and Rio 2016, swimmers have been classified differently. Most notably short stature and neurological impairments.


I have heard that the whole para program will be revamped after Rio in order to level the competition in each class.

A little late, but better than later on.


Thanks TrojanLastLong. I read that on their website too and it isn’t before time for sure but the last update I read was that the committee that’s been set up won’t be in a position to make any recommendations, even preliminary ones, until 2018. I just don’t think that’s good enough. When we look at the work that’s being done to retest samples for doping for example to improve able bodied competition leading up to Rio. I just think that the IPC could do a whole lot better. There are 55 PI swimmers being classified at IDM over 3 days with 3 panels of classifiers and the in-competition swim is in a multi class environment. I’m concerned that that’s a… Read more »


This is all great news but there is a whole generation of professional Paralympic swimmers who have been classified under much more lenient rules.


Any news on the reclassifications???

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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