A resident of Sobradinho, in the Federal District, the young Wendell Belarmino Pereira conquered, this Friday (27), gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. At 23, the athlete came first in the 50 meters of freestyle.
Wendell competed in Class S11, which covers freestyle, backstroke and butterfly strokes for visually impaired athletes. The first race was held on Thursday night (26). The swimmer won first place and thus secured a spot for the final.
At 5:57 am this Friday (GMT), Wendell was also the fastest to complete the races and won gold. He celebrated the victory on social media.
“Today, I leave here with three dreams fulfilled: coming to the Paralympics, winning a Paralympic medal and being a Paralympic champion,” he said.
Even with the gold in hand, Wendell will still compete in other disciplines. The next contest takes place on Sunday (29), when swimmer does the 200 meters medley – combination of four swimming styles.
Wendell Belarmino Pereira, 23, lives in Sobradinho and has great potential for a medal for Brazilian swimming — Photo: Instagram/Reprodução
Wendell was the first from Brazil to secure a place in the Tokyo competition. This is the athlete’s first Paralympics.
The young man was born with congenital glaucoma and had to undergo ten corneal transplants. Even so, he had a gradual loss of vision.
The swimmer says the condition never stopped him from playing sports. He has practiced the sport since he was three years old, and even competed in adapted equestrian.
In 2015, he decided to specialize in swimming. He started training at the Olympic Center at the University of Brasília (UnB) and at Colégio Mackenzie. Since then, Wendell collects medals.
At Parapan de Lima, in 2019, he secured four gold and two silver, in addition to breaking the record in the 100 meters freestyle. The place in the Tokyo Games came thanks to the gold medal in the 50 meters freestyle at the World Cup in London, in 2019, where he won silver and bronze medals.
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