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World elite paraswimming talent heads for Aberdeen

The prestigious Para Swimming World Series is being hosted in Aberdeen for the first time in February.

Hundreds of elite swimming athletes will gather in the city from 17th-20th February for the Para Swimming World Series, including the British Para-Swimming Meet 2022, which is being hosted in the world class Aquatics Centre at Aberdeen Sports Village.

The four-day competition, which will be the biggest ever hosted at ASV since it opened, will attract some of the highest calibre para swimmers from across the globe, and also incorporates the annual domestic British Para-Swimming Meet, kicking off this year’s season for the swimming stars preparing for World Championships and Commonwealth Games opportunities.

The event was hosted in Sheffield last year, with 90 athletes from 21 countries taking part. It featured British athletes who went on to succeed at the Paralympic Games later in the year, including Reece Dunn, Hannah Russell and Grace Harvey.

Great Britain recorded a hugely successful run at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, winning 26 medals swimming medals – eight golds, nine silvers and nine bronzes.

Aberdeen’s para swimmer Conner Morrison, 24, from Turriff, who reached the finals of the Men’s S14 100m Breaststroke in Tokyo, has been training in preparation for the upcoming season and is set to compete in the World Series.

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Conner Morrison with UOAPS performance squad coach Gregor McMillan

Conner, who joined the University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming (UOAPS) team at ASV in 2015, has been coached at the Aquatics Centre for the past six years, and as well as qualifying for the Paralympics, he also swam for the national squad in the European Para Championships in Dublin in 2018 and Madeira in 2021.

Performance squad coach, Gregor McMillan, said: “It is fantastic to be hosting this event at the Aquatics Centre as it will attract the absolute elite of para swimmers to Aberdeen and ASV. It will showcase our abilities to host such a high calibre event, with our facilities, environment and skilled team.

“It will be a brilliant experience for Conner and a fantastic opportunity for him to race some of the world’s top swimmers in his own backyard. Our able bodied and para-athletes all train together and the venue is getting stronger and stronger for performance athletes to come in and reach their full potential and compete on the world stage. We also have some new para-athletes currently coming through our programme with sights set on the Paralympics 2028.”

British Swimming Associate Performance Director Tim Jones said: “I’m delighted that with the confirmation of this event, we are adding to the legacy of the UK’s reputation as one of the leading para-sport hosts in the world.

“The Para Swimming World Series is a very important competition for us across various levels of the para-swimming pathway. Those athletes challenging for places on senior British teams thrive off the stimulus of racing their international counterparts in the build towards major international meets, and this meet will play a part in selections for 2022’s World Championships in Madeira. Meanwhile, direct head-to-head racing is a vital part of the development of our up-and-coming athletes.”

Hosting the Para Swimming World Series 2022 will place ASV firmly on the competitive swimming map and also bring an economic boost to Aberdeen, with athletes and their coaches staying in the city centre throughout the event.

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