Daniel Dias wins bronze with exciting final

Daniel Dias won, this Thursday (26), his second medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. After securing, yesterday (25), the bronze in the 200m freestyle in the S5 class, intermediate between the 10 for the disabled, the Brazilian took another bronze, this time in the 100m freestyle in the same class. And with emotion at the conclusion of the test.

Daniel was only fifth at the turn of the 50m, but he grew up in the second half of the race, especially in the last 10m. With five to go, he was still fifth, but ended up leaving behind two Chinese, who swam beside him, one to the left and one to the right.

The Brazilian did not put his body in front of Chinese Tao Zheng at any time, but he hit the front because of the specifics of their respective deficiencies. While the Asian has no arms and completes the test by hitting his head on the edge of the pool, Daniel stretched his arm and ended up winning the duel.

The difference between the two was just seven hundredths: 1min10s80 for Daniel, and 1min10s87 for Zheng. After having the top three in the 50-meter turn, China won only one silver medal, because the gold went to Italian Francesco Bocciardo, who also presented an impressive performance in the second half and won with 1min09s56. The silver went to Lichao Wang’s chest, with 1min10s45.

This was Daniel’s 26th Paralympic Games medal, 14 being gold. The Brazilian, who will retire after Tokyo-2020, rose to the podium in four consecutive editions of the Paralympics. In Japan, he had already won bronze in the 200m freestyle, also surpassed by Bocciardo, who was Paralympic champion in the 400m in class S6, for athletes with less physical-motor impairment, in Rio-2016, after being reclassified.

“Gratitude, I’m very grateful for all this. It’s flowing, today was lighter. When I turned around, I saw the Chinese a little ahead, I said it wouldn’t be easy for them. I ended up swimming my test. It’s living every moment, each race. But it gave a lot of strength to think that it was the last 100 meters. Now there is only a 50 meter race,” Daniel told SporTV2. She is still swimming again today in the final of the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay, at 8:01 am Brasília time.

In the women’s final of the 100m freestyle class S5, Brazilian Joana Neves finished in eighth place, with 1min27s62. She must also swim the relay.