Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Alberto Abarza claims Chile's second Paralympic gold medal ever

The 36-year old topped the podium in the men's 100m backstroke S2 25 Aug 2021
Chilean Alberto Abarza celebrates winning the celebrates winning the men's 100m backstroke S2
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Alberto Abarza made history at the Tokyo 2020 Aquatics Centre by securing Chile's second Paralympic gold medal in history and first in Para swimming.

The 36-year-old touched in first in the men's 100m backstroke S2 with a time of 2:00.40, ahead of Brazil's Gabriel Geraldo dos Santos Araujo (2:02.47) and Russian Paralympic Committee's Vladimir Danilenko (2:02.74).

Cristian Valenzuela was the first athlete to win Paralympic gold for Chile when he finished first in the men's 5,000m T11 at London 2012.

Abarza said: "I am filled with emotion, I am so happy. It is the first medal in swimming for my country and the second in the history of Chile.

"It was the greatest dream that I had in sport, to win, and now I have reached this dream. It will allow me to leave the sport happy."

He also referred to the possibility of retiring after this Games. "It is something that I have to consider. I have a disability (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, that affects the nervous system and muscles) that gets more severe day to day. I have put 2020 as the goal, and then there was the delay. It was a difficult year.

"But it was worth the effort. I think this is a beautiful moment for Chile and for my children."