“Now we have participated in this Test Event ahead of the European Open Championships next week in Portugal and then we throw almost everything at the Paralympic Games."
Multiple Brazilian Paralympic champions Daniel Dias and Andre Brasil took gold on the final of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Test Event on Sunday (25 April), bringing their country’s medal total to 66 in an encouraging display ahead of this summer’s Games.
Brasil and Dias both won their 50m freestyle races, the men’s S5 and S10 respectively, to take Brazil’s gold medal count to 14 alongside 22 silver and 30 bronze.
Brasil won all five of his races but would not take anything for granted ahead of his home Paralympic Games.
"Our work is being done in blocks. The first was last year in the World Championships and the Parapan American Games, then training at the end of last year,” Brasil said. “Now we have participated in this Test Event ahead of the European Open Championships next week in Portugal and then we throw almost everything at the Paralympic Games."
Dias also competed with the aim of improving. The 10-time Paralympic champion swam three races - one multiclass - and closed the event with two golds and a bronze.
"I opted for three races to be a short contest, three days, and not get tired too,” Dias said. “The goal is to swim well at the Europeans. In September we have a difficult goal, which is fifth in the medals table. Then we must fight for it, train hard and help Brazil in the Paralympic Games."
Dias beat one of his main competitors, the USA’s Roy Perkins, to the wall.
“I just wanted to feel the venue and race a little bit,” Perkins said. “Having Daniel here in his own country, he is such a high profile athlete and it’s good to compete against him. I think it brings a lot of awareness to the Paralympics.”
The President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, and the Brazilian head coach, Leonardo Tomasello, share the same opinion on the preparation of swimmers for Rio 2016.
Both agree that they are moving forward and that, in September, the athletes have every chance of gaining great results.
"Swimmers are leaving today to Portugal for the European Open. We observed some marks here at the Open and there is nothing that scares athletes who have not reached the levels,” Parsons said. “Everything is on schedule and they will face a stronger competition now. All of this is to reach their peak performance in September.”
"It was a good start to the first selection,” Tomasello said. “We still have other competitions. We leave here with five athletes who have reached the qualifying times, others were very close, some new faces appeared and we leave with the hope that we will have a very strong selection for the beginning of the Games.
“Several athletes had their main foreign rivals in this Open, such as Daniel Dias, Edenia Garcia, Talisson Glock, and it helps them to maintain strength and improve at every Championships.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.