The World Para Swimming World Series in Sao Paulo came to a close on Saturday (28 April), with standout performers Daniela Gimenez and Daniel Dias adding more gold medals to their collection.
The tournament culminated in the finals of the 100m freestyle and breaststroke events. Freestyle came first, with Brazil’s S5 athlete Daniel Dias grabbing first place in the men’s event, finishing with a mark of 1:10.13 – an entire two seconds faster than his result in the morning’s heats. “I did much better than I expected today, I’m really happy with my time,” Dias said. “This whole competition has been spectacular."
Dias, who is from the city of Campinas, only 60 miles outside of Sao Paulo, spoke of the special pride he feels when competing in front of a home crowd. “It’s always great, and it’s not just here in Sao Paulo, it’s an amazing feeling taking part in international events in my home country, representing Brazil."
In the women’s event, S9 swimmer Camille Rodrigues won gold, adding to the bronze and silver medals she picked up in the first two days of the World Series. Finishing in 1:06.29, Rodrigues was happy with the result and highlighted the strength of the rest of the competitors. “The tournament was great, there are a lot of really strong countries here, a lot of future world champions. We’ve only got positives to take from this."
Argentina’s 25-year-old Daniela Gimenez was the day’s big winner, grabbing two medals in another impressive physical performance. Despite the tight schedule of the day’s races, the S9 swimmer once again took part in two events, the 100m freestyle (in which she finished third), and the closing final of the World Series, the 100m breaststroke, where she blew away the chasing pack and stormed to another gold medal.
"I’m training really hard, and for the start of the season my times have been excellent,” said Gimenez. "I only had 15 minutes between my two finals today and even so I was able to improve on my performance in this morning’s heats, so I’m delighted.” Gimenez finished the World Series in Sao Paulo with a total of four medals, two gold, one silver, and one bronze.
Gimenez now has her sights set on two more World Series events this year, namely in Sheffield, Great Britain and Berlin, Germany, in June. “It’s a great competition because it keeps us in great shape throughout the season. It’s ideal for training and improving our performances.
The World Series now heads back to Europe, with meetings scheduled in Italy, Great Britain, and Germany. Last year, Brazil’s Daniel Dias came away with the overall men’s title and has put himself in good stead to go two-in-a-row after his dominant performance in Sao Paulo. Italy’s Monica Boggioni currently holds the title as the best overall athlete in the women’s events.