GSF athlete highlights - Aquatics

The 2023 World Aquatics Championships

The 2023 World Aquatics Championships, the 20th edition of the World Aquatics Championships, were held in Fukuoka, Japan, from 14 to 30 July 2023. 17 past and present GSF athletes were in attendance and came home with 6 medals between them (1 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze).
Opening the competition and gaining valuable experience on the world stage for Team GB was Leah Crisp (Bath and North East Somerset), competing in open water swimming in the women’s 10km event. Artistic swimmers, GSF athlete Beatrice Crass (Reading) and GSF Alumni Isobel Blinkhorn took to the pool to showcase their talents, with Beatrice and her partner finishing in 5th place for the Mixed Duet Technical event.

Making a splash in the pool and adding to the medal count were GSF athletes Andrea Spendolini Siriex (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) and Scarlett Mew Jensen (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park). Both Andrea and Scarlett came home with a Silver medal each, with Andrea and her partner coming second in the women’s 10m synchro and Scarlett with her partner earning the Silver medal in the women’s 3m springboard Synchro event.

Ambassadors Matty Lee, Noah Williams and Kyle Kothari (all Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) also took to the world stage for the men’s 10m platform competitions. Matty and Noah paired up for the men’s synchro event, narrowly missing out on a podium spot with their 4th place finish. In the individual men’s 10m platform final, Noah just missed out on a medal, finishing in 4th, with Kyle right behind him in 5th.

The competition rounded off with GSF swimmers ready to impress for Team GB, with the exception of GSF athlete Victoria Catterson (Belfast) and Alumni Conor Ferguson, who represented Team Ireland. GSF athletes Cameron Brooker (B&NES) and Brodie Williams (B&NES) were also getting in on the action competing in the men’s 100m and 200m backstroke events. GSF alumni rounded off the medal count, with Anna Hopkins securing Bronze in mixed 100m freestyle relay and Joe Litchfield earning the Gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle relay. Alumni Tom Dean collected the full set of medals with a Gold in the men’s 200m freestyle relay, Silver in the men’s 200m Freestyle and a Bronze medal in the 200m medley.

2023 World Para Swimming Championships

The 2023 World Para Swimming Championships was the 12th edition of the World Para Swimming Championships, an international swimming competition for swimmers with disabilities. It was held in Manchester, at the Manchester Aquatics Centre which is operated by GLL, from 31 July to 6 August 2023. 6 past and present GSF athletes were competing and they secured 5 medals between them (2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze).

The World Championships serve as a qualifier for the 2024 Summer Paralympics, where two top swimmers in each individual medal event final will be automatically selected to compete at the Paralympics. 

GSF Ambassador Suzanna Hext (Swindon) kicked off the competition in real style, becoming World Champion after earning the Gold medal in women's 50m Freestyle S5 final. She hadn’t finished there, Suzanna also added a silver medal to her name after finishing in 2nd in the Women's 100m Freestyle S5 race. Another world champion was named for Team GB when GSF alumni Jessica Applegate secured the Gold medal in the women's 200m Freestyle S14 event. 

Finishing off the completion in strong form was GSF ambassadors Grace Harvey (Manchester) and Louise Fiddes (Welwyn & Hatfield), with Grace securing a Silver medal in the women's 100m Breaststroke SB5, and Louise taking home the Bronze medal for her efforts in the Bronze in Women's 200m Freestyle S14 competition. Top 10 finishes were also secured by GSF ambassador Tully Kearney (Manchester) in the women's 100m Freestyle S6, and also by GSF alumni Cameron Vearncombe who competed in the men's 100m Backstroke S14 race.

It has been a pleasure to follow the hard work of GSF athletes at both of these competitions, a huge congratulations to all who took part!