With the two gold medals won this Friday (3) at the Paralympics in Tokyo, Brazil reached 21 and equaled the registered mark in London-2012. If you still can’t say you’ve set a new record number of diamonds, the campaign is already the best in history.
In England, there were 21 golds, 14 silvers and 8 bronzes (43 in total), with the seventh position in the medals table. In Tokyo, two days before the end of the Games, there are 21 golds, 14 silvers and 26 bronzes (61 in total), also in seventh position so far.
The absolute record for medals is for Rio-2016, with 72. At home, Brazil was in eighth place in the overall table because of the lowest number of golds. There were 14, with 29 silver and 29 bronze.
One of this Friday’s gold medals was unprecedented in the men’s goalball tournament, beating China. Thiago Paulino dos Santos was also champion in the F56/F57 weight class, a race that still had Marco Aurélio Borges with the bronze.
In addition to these three medals, there were four more on the tenth day of competitions at the Tokyo Paralympics. Luís Carlos Cardoso took silver in speed canoeing, in the 200 m event of the KL1 class kayak. Swimmer Wendell Belarmino took bronze in the 100 m butterfly S11, as well as João Victor Teixeira in the launch of the F37 disc and Silvana Fernandes in the K44 taekwondo up to 58 kg.
The women’s seated volleyball team lost the semifinal to the USA and will compete for the bronze.
See the highlights of the Brazilian campaign this Friday
Thiago Paulino wins 21st gold in Brazil and sees idol take bronze
Thiago Paulino dos Santos, 35, won gold in the F56/57 class shot (for athletes with various disabilities who compete sitting) with the 15.10 m mark, a new Games record.
The bronze went to another Brazilian, Marco Aurélio Borges, 43, from São Paulo, who threw the weight at 14.85 m, in the best mark of his life. The silver went to the Chinese Wu Guoshan, Paralympic champion in Rio de Janeiro-2016, who made the 15 m mark.
World record holder in the competition, Thiago started competing in futsal, in Orlândia (SP), his hometown.
In 2010, he had a motorcycle accident and had to amputate his left leg below the knee. The athlete’s biggest idols are Falcão (from futsal) and Marco Aurélio, his opponent in this final. It was the Paralympics rival, by the way, who took him to athletics.
“I learned about the shot put through Marco Aurélio Borges’ videos. When I saw it, I thought: ‘A big guy doing this? I think I can too.’ It started as a joke, just to see what it was like. It ended up becoming my sport. When did I do it. my first pitch, I fell in love. I never stopped,” he told Folha Vitória in an interview.
In the final this Friday (3), Thiago insisted on greeting his friend. Both displayed Brazilian flags in the commemoration of the medals.
“I want to congratulate Marcão, who did a great race. The Chinese I expected would come strong. It was a high level competition and I couldn’t disappoint. I was very prepared, we trained a lot and were rewarded,” stated Paulino, multi-world champion and Pan American. “I lost my mother last year and she really wanted to see me with the gold. So I dedicate this medal especially to her,” he added.
In addition to the partnership with Marco Aurélio, Thiago also maintains a friendship with Falcão. It was the futsal player who helped him buy a knee brace for his prosthetic leg in 2013. The ace had heard about Thiago when he played in Orlândia.
Unprecedented title in goalball crowns great Brazilian campaign
The Brazilian team won an unprecedented gold medal with the victory over China in the decision of the men’s goalball tournament in the Tokyo-2020 Paralympics, by 7-2.
The three starting players of the green-yellow team scored goals. There were three from Leomon Moreno (two of them on penalties), three from Josemarcio, the Parazinho, and one from Romário.
Alex de Melo Sousa, Emerson da Silva and José Roberto Ferreira de Oliveira are also part of the champion team.
Brazil already had a silver medal (London-2012) and a bronze medal (Rio-2016) and now manages to reach the highest place on the podium for the first time with an almost perfect campaign.
In the first phase there were three wins in four games —11-2 over Lithuania, 10-4 against Algeria and 8-3 against Japan— and only one loss, 8-6 to the US.
In the knockout, triumphs 9-4 over Turkey and again against the Lithuanians, who defended the 2016 title, 9-5, before the gold decision.
Goalball is the only sport in the Paralympic program developed exclusively for people with disabilities (in this case, visual), without being an adaptation of a conventional modality.
The objective is to score goals by throwing a ball to the other side of the court, which has the dimensions of volleyball (9 mx 18 m). Three athletes from each team act as both pitchers and defenders at the same time. The throw must be low or touch at least once in the mandatory areas before swinging the nets.
To equalize the condition of the athletes, who may have different degrees of visual impairment, everyone wears blindfolds. The perception of the ball, which has bells, is made by hearing. Except after the goals and at the stops, there can be no noise in the gym. The lines on the court encourage touch to facilitate a sense of location.
Lithuania took the bronze after beating the USA by 10 to 7. In the women’s tournament, won by Turkey, Brazil finished in fourth position and postponed the conquest of an unprecedented medal. The silver was from the USA and the bronze from Japan.
Four more medals in four sports
Luís Carlos Cardoso, 36, won silver in speed canoeing, the second in the country in the sport, which debuted at the Games in 2016 with bronze.
He was the runner-up in the final of the KL1 class 200 m kayak (using his arms only while paddling), behind Hungarian Peter Kiss. “A movie goes through my head, all the many times I thought I wasn’t going to make it, the physical and psychological strain. Finally it was my turn”, celebrated Luís.
A former professional dancer, the athlete born in Picos (PI) had a spinal cord infection in 2009 and lost leg movement. From dancing to adapted canoeing.
Silvana Fernandes, 22, was dominant to win the bronze medal dispute in taekwondo category up to 58 kg class K44 (athletes with unilateral amputation of the arm). The Brazilian beat the Turkish Gamze Gurdal in three rounds and ended the fight with a 26-9 victory.
Born in São Bento (PB), she began her career in athletics, competing in the javelin throw, in 2014. Four years later, she switched to taekwondo, a sport she learned about on the internet.
“When I started in the sport, my goal was to defend Brazil. But when the list of events for the Parapan American Games came out [de Lima, no Peru], my class on javelin was not. Then my dream of competing for Brazil ended. Then I got to know taekwondo. I started training and discovered that I had potential,” said the woman from Paraíba in an interview with TV Correio.
The decision was the wisest. She debuted internationally at the Pan-American of the modality, in Portland, USA, in 2019. In the same year, she competed in Parapan de Lima and won the gold medal.
A recovery in the last strokes earned Wendell Belarmino the bronze medal in the 100 m class S11 butterfly (blind athletes).
Wendell turned the first 50 meters in seventh position and seemed far from the medal until the last meters, but kept his pace while the rivals slowed down and thus managed to beat in third place, with a time of 1min05s20.
The 23-year-old Brazilian, born in Brasília, closed his debut participation in the Paralympic Games with three medals, one of each color, as he also won gold in the 50 m freestyle and was silver in the 4 x 100 m freestyle mixed relay.
Brazil ended its campaign in the sport with 23 medals, a record. There were 8 golds, 5 silvers and 10 bronzes.
João Victor Teixeira, 27, won the bronze medal in the release of the F37 class disc (walking brain paralyzed). He reached the 51.86 m mark on his penultimate attempt and took third place in the race.
The carioca had a positive result for Covid-19 in the last test before the trip to Japan and lost part of his acclimatization in the country of the Paralympics. Even so, he won two bronze medals in athletics: in addition to the discus throw, he also took third place in the shot put.
Defeat in seated volleyball leads Brazil to the bronze dispute
The Brazilian team lost to the United States by 3 sets to 0 (25/19, 11/25 and 25/23) in the semifinal of the women’s sitting volleyball tournament.
The Americans are the current Paralympic champions. In Rio-2016, the national team finished in third position.
Brazil will compete for the bronze medal again against Canada. The game for third place will be this Saturday (4), at 4:30 am (Brasilia time).