Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds and Glasgow-born European Champion Andrew Mullen have launched the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships and stressed the importance of ‘home advantage’ for British swimmers.
Simmonds, Britain’s most recognised Paralympian, is just one of 650 swimmers from 50 countries who will converge on Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre for next summer’s prestigious event which will run from 13-19 July.
The World Championships, which forms part of UK Sport's £27m National Lottery funded Gold Event Series, are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games and will see the world’s best male and female para-swimmers in action.
Ellie Simmonds, who has won 13 World titles and 10 European titles, as well as having 10 World Records to her name, is looking forward to competing at Tollcross – the scene of the hugely successful Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She said: “I’m so excited about the home World Championships. Home support was so important during the London 2012 Paralympics and I really love it when the crowd cheer us on. I hope that we get big audiences so we can show them how brilliant our sport is.
“Glasgow will be my fourth World Championships and I think it will be really special. I love competing at the top level. Racing fast is the best part of my sport but this will be made even better with a great crowd getting behind the team.
“The world’s best will be coming to Glasgow for this competition and it would be great if we could make the first British-held World Championships the best one yet.”
Glasgow-born European record holder Andrew Mullen is looking to continue his form from this summer’s European Championships where he won four Golds and two Silver medals. He also hopes that competing in Glasgow will work to his advantage.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd here at Tollcross. I’ve was born here so I know how passionate the Glasgow residents are about sport.
“I saw how great the support was for swimming during the Commonwealth Games and I really hope that we get the same support in July. I was really proud of my city this summer. The Games were great and I know that the World Championships will be just as exciting.”
The British Gas GBR Para-Swimming Team is likely to include Paralympic, World and Commonwealth Champion Ollie Hynd and seven-time European Champion Stephanie Slater.
In addition, some of the World’s best para-swimmers including 12-time Paralympic Gold Medallist Jess Long (USA), eight-time Paralympic Champion Jacqueline Freney (AUS), Paralympic and World Champion Marc Evers (NED) and three-time Paralympic Champion Andre Brasil (BRA) are expected to attend.
Across seven days of breath-taking competition there will be 172 medals up for grabs with athletes competing in Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Individual Medley, Freestyle Relay and Medley Relay across 14 different classes, with distances ranging from 50m-400m.
Tickets are now available via the Glasgow 2015 website and are priced at just £10/£15 for Adults for Heats/Finals, while all Under-16s go free.