“Competing at my first Paralympics will be a dream come true.”
Argentina’s world No. 6 Gustavo Fernandez may well be a strong contender for a wheelchair tennis medal at Rio 2016, but according to his teammates Ezequiel Casco and Agustin Ledesma they too could cause some surprises this September.
They are both among the top 34 ranked wheelchair tennis players and therefore qualified for the Paralympic Games: 23-year-old Casco is ranked No. 32 in the world, whilst Buenos Aires-born Ledesma is No. 25.
“Competing at my first Paralympics will be a dream come true,” said Casco. “Everything will be new for me and I will try to enjoy it the most I can. I competed at the Parapan Am last year, which were huge, but was told that the Paralympics are even more massive.”
For Ledesma, Rio 2016 will be his second Paralympics.
“I am sure this year’s Games will be as exciting as the last ones, maybe even better since they will be held in Rio and many Argentinians will be able to go and give us their support,” said Ledesma, who lost in the round of 64 at London 2012.
“I have so many good memories from London. The stadiums were full of people and I could watch sports I had never seen before, such as football 7,” added the 22-year-old.
World No. 32 Casco and World No. 27 Ledesma have already demonstrated their ability at the Parapan American Games. Casco claimed doubles gold at Toronto 2015, whilst Ledesma sealed singles and doubles silver at Guadalajara 2011.
Even though Fernandez is Argentina’s main wheelchair tennis star, they do not feel overshadowed.
“I think it is great for the development of wheelchair tennis in my country that Gustavo Fernandez is among the best in the world. That is good for him but for me as well, as more people get involved with wheelchair tennis,” said Casco.
Ledesma agreed with his compatriot: “Fernandez is a great person, who is always there to help you. Besides, you learn a lot by training with him.”
With five months to go until the Paralympic Games, Casco and Ledesma are hoping to be up to the task.
“I want to perform as well as possible. The level of the competition will be the highest, and I will try to reach Rio 2016 in my full potential,” said Casco.
Ledesma, on the other hand, is aiming for “giving the best for my country. I know it will be very difficult to win a medal, but I will still try. And I want to learn for the future as well.”
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.