"This is my first time in Brazil and I’m very happy here, the swimming pool is fantastic and the Brazilians are very friendly.”
Brazil opened the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games swimming Test Event with an incredible 30 medals on Friday (22 April), lighting up the Olympic Aquatics Centre as a regional record tumbled.
With six gold, nine silver and 15 bronze the host’s performance was highlighted by Vanilton Nascimento.
The S9 swimmer brought down the men’s 100m freestyle Americas record twice in the heats and finals. In the morning, he swam 57.58 only to improve by 0.02 in the final to claim gold.
"In qualifying I was very happy and then thought I could do better,” Nascimento said. “I took down the record by two hundredths and that time is already approaching the qualifying time for the Games, which makes me a little more relaxed.
“The great joy was being able to swim in this Test Event, to win this medal. Now comes a great increase training and travel to Portugal for the European [Open], and try to get the time.”
Another Brazilian who rose to prominence in the evening session was multiple Paralympic champion Andre Brasil, who won his 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly S10 races.
Brasil has already qualified for the Paralympic Games and proved quite comfortable with the competition.
“I know I made mistakes, but it’s a Test Event,” Brasil said. “I could have been better because I always do my best. Since I’ve had an injury in 2014, I’m trying to do things step by step. Last year I got back my best performances and today was one of those steps on the road to Rio. I hope I can keep walking the way I’m doing now until the Paralympics.”
In the international field, there was medal success for Japan, France and Spain.
Japan’s Keiichi Kimura stormed to gold in the 200m individual medley SM11 and bronze in the 100m freestyle S11.
“I’ve made a few mistakes at the beginning of the events, but I keep pushing myself to get these medals. Despite the screaming from the fans, we can feel the energy and all the support they give us during the events”, Kimura said.
France’s Elodi Lorandi loved the energy that came from the crowd. She swam to gold medal in the 100m freestyle S10 surprising herself with her form.
“It was better than I was thinking,” the European champion said. “I was almost two seconds faster. This is my first time in Brazil and I’m very happy here, the swimming pool is fantastic and the Brazilians are very friendly.”
Spain’s London 2012 bronze medallist Sarai Gascon touched in to win the 100m freestyle S9.
“I’m glad about my performance on the 100m free. In 2016 I’m beating up my own best times and this makes me happy. The pool is amazing and helps us to do our best,” Gascon said.
Full results are available at the 2016 Caixa Loterias Open Championships website.
All the Brazilian medallists can be viewed at the Brazilian Paralympic Committee’s website.
Live coverage of the competition, without a geoblock, is being shown at SportTV.
*All records are subject to ratification by IPC Swimming.
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.