Column – Brazil is on pace for two years of the Paris Paralympics

One year ago, the cream of world Paralympic sports gathered in Tokyo (Japan). Brazil’s historic performance, ending the Games in seventh place on the medal table, equaling the podium record (72) and surpassing the gold medal (22), lived up to the expectations announced by the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (PRC) in 2017 when the organization released; Strategic planning for the two phases following Rio 2016.

After the mega-event held in the capital of Japan, the planning has been updated. Two years from now, the goals for thinking about the Paris Games (France) are largely the same as they were five years ago. The intention still remains to be present in at least 20 (of 22) seasons and seek 70 to 90 medals. The goal, however, goes beyond staying in the top 10 as planned in 2017, but establishing a place in the top eight of the chart, which has been maintained since the 2012 London (UK) edition.

The first results of the cycle bring optimism. Also in 2021, at the Paracano World Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark, just days after the Tokyo Games, Brazil won three medals and saw Fernando Rufino, the steel cowboy, repeat Japan’s feat and take the gold. In the VL2 class 200 meters (for canoeists who use their arms and trunk to paddle).

At the World Weightlifting Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia, also last year, Mariana D’Andrea, the Paralympic champion in the 73 kg weight class, remained on the podium, now as the silver medalist. Until the end of the year, there was time for Brazilian para-taekwondo to win 7 podiums at the World Cup in Istanbul (Turkey), where Silvana Fernandez’s gold (bronze in Tokyo) up to 57 kg (winner in Tokyo, Nathan) was highlighted. Torquato made it to the semifinals in the category up to 63 kg for one injury). It was the best performance in the history of the event, surpassing the two medals from 2019 (gold and bronze).

In 2022, at the new Paracanoe World Cup in Halifax, Canada, the Brazilians went one better with four medals and a double in the VL2 200m, with Igor Tofalini first and Rufino this time. silver At the World Paralympic Equestrian Championships in Herring, Denmark, Rodolfo Riscalla won bronze in the individual technical event (the same event in which he won silver in Tokyo) and the freestyle, both in class IV (riders with mild disabilities). with one or both limbs or moderate visual impairment).

Four medals were registered at the Paracycling World Cup in Bay Como (Canada). In the endurance test, Lauro Chaman won silver in the MC5 category (less severe physical disability) and Carlos Alberto Soares won bronze in MC1 (higher motor impairment). Jadi Malavatsi, on the other hand, won a bronze medal in the road races and in the time trial of the H3 category (athletes who use an adapted bicycle and push it with their hands). In Tokyo, Brazil was not on the podium in this sport.

In wheelchair tennis, Brazil won an unprecedented bronze medal at the World Team Cup in Vilamoura, Portugal, in the quadruple (athletes with disabilities in three or more parts of the body), with Leandro Pena, Augusto Fernandez and Ymanitu Silva. The latter was also ranked second in doubles at Roland Garros, one of the season’s four Grand Slams in Paris, in addition to a career-high seventh in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rankings.

The sport that brought the country the most gold in Tokyo (eight), along with athletics, swimming has also witnessed a promising start to the cycle. The 29 Brazilian athletes who participated in the World Cup in Funchal (Portugal) won 53 podiums with 19 gold medals. It was the best performance in the event’s history, even without recently retired star Daniel Diaz.

“The emphatic result at the World Swimming Championships is certainly one of the highlights of the cycle so far. In athletics, some athletes who have excelled in other editions of the Games, such as Petruchio Ferreira [velocidade]Beth Gomez [arremesso do peso]Raisa Machado [lançamento do dardo] and Alessandro Silva [lançamento do disco], broke world records. The expectation is that with these two modes, which, historically, have already brought many medals to Brazil, we will continue the gains,” analyzed Jonas Freire, Director of High Performance Sports at CPB. Brazilian agency.

“In judo, Brazil won all the Grand Prix contested this year. The blind soccer team has also won all the championships they have been in in 2022. In goalball, both women’s and men’s teams won the American Championship. This is the start of a cycle with good results and it gives us good prospects for the Paris Games,” added the manager.

Another goal adapted to the committee’s program was the presence of young people. In planning announced in 2017, CPB’s expectation was that at least 17% of finalists in Paris would be under 23 years old. During the update, the goal was to have 50% of the under-23s attend the finals.

In Tokyo, 39 athletes (about 17% of Brazil’s national team) were at least 23 years of age at the Games, and 22 of them (21 in non-team sports) played in the finals, representing 56% of the participants. group.. In swimming (where 34% of the Paralympic selection was under 23), all competitors in this age group competed in medals. A scenario that was repeated at the World Cup in Funchal.

Other sports such as goalball, wheelchair basketball and blind soccer are also bringing in new faces. In the latter, for example, Brazil’s under-23 team, which is participating in the Grand Prix in Schiltigheim, France, defeated the hosts, the reigning European champions, 4-1 on Tuesday (30), playing with the main squad. )

“Our purpose for this purpose [50% dos sub-23 atingindo finais], is to ensure continuity of results from one cycle to another. In this way, we adjusted the goal to better achieve our goal and facilitate the monitoring process,” Freire explained.

There are other Paralympic World Cups to come in 2022. The rowing will take place in September in Rasice (Czech Republic). Next month, it’s the turn of wheelchair rugby in Velje, Denmark. It is five in November. Shooting and wheelchair basketball will be held in the United Arab Emirates. Judo in Baku (Azerbaijan). Table tennis is scheduled in Granada, Spain. The sitting volleyball match, originally scheduled for May, will be played in Hangzhou, China, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finally, goalball (Portugal) and bocce will be held in Rio de Janeiro in December.

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