Brazilian Swimmer Dias Brings High Ambitions to Mexican Soil

16 Sep 2011
Daniel Dias competing

Daniel Dias competes in the men's 100m Breaststroke SB4 final at Beijing 2008.

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In 2007, while debuting in the Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Daniel Dias reached the highest spot on the podium in eight out of nine events in front of his home crowd.

For November’s 2011 American Parapan Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Dias’ aspiration is to increase his golden collection.

“The expectation is the best possible. In Rio, I got eight gold medals and was disqualified in the 200m medley. This time, I will try to get nine gold medals”, he said.

In order to achieve this, he has followed the training strategy used at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands. There, he won eight gold medals and set five new world records after doing his preparations 2,400m above the sea level, in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Last June, Dias went to San Luis de Potosi, Mexico, to train in an altitude of almost 1,900m, which he described as “21 exhausting days”.

The efforts by the Brazilian to improve his performance in Guadalajara have a major reason: the proximity of 2012 London Paralympic Games.

“Our focus is the Parapan Games, but it is a year where we are studying the possibilities. If we achieve the expected results in Mexico, we are going to repeat it in the preparation for London”, added the athlete, whose Paralympic Games debut in Beijing resulted in three golds, three silvers and one bronze.

Competing in the S5, SM5 and SB4 classes, Daniel Dias indicated two Spanish swimmers as his main rivals for next year’s competition.

“I will definitely have to work hard in the 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle because of Sebastian Rodriguez”, he said, referring to the three strokes in which he will be defending his Paralympic titles.

In the 100m Breaststroke, Dias named the current world-record holder and Paralympic champion, Ricardo Ten.

“I’ve beaten him in the last World Championships, and I look forward to repeating it in London.”

As a Rio 2016 Paralympic Games ambassador, the 23-year-old athlete knows his performance in London can build up his path for making history when the Games finally reach Brazil in five years.

“I will be in my third Games and hopefully with the chance of becoming the Paralympic male athlete with the highest number of medals”, said Dias.

To achieve this goal, the Brazilian will have to beat Swedish shooting star, Jonas Jacobsson, the most successful male athlete with 25 shooting medals and who will be making his 10th Paralympic Games appearance at London 2012.

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