The Panamanian and Peruvian delegations have arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, ready to compete at the fourth Youth Parapan American Games, from 20-25 March.
A total of 23 Panamanian athletes will compete in Sao Paulo across four sports: athletics, football 7-a-side, powerlifting and swimming.
Roberto Arango Chiari, Director of the Panamian Sports Institute, presented the national flag to swimmer Benito Perlaza, named the country’s flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony. Panama is also hopeful of landing gold through track and field athlete Enrique Ornano.
The delegation’s aim is to outdo their performance from the last edition of the Youth Parapan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013, when Panama won two golds, two silvers and five bronzes to finish ninth in the medals table.
The Central American country made its Paralympic debut at Barcelona 1992. Track and field athlete Said Gomez claimed Panama’s eight Paralympic medals in history, including three golds, four silvers and one bronze.
The host country of the 2019 Parapan American Games will make its debut at the Youth Parapans.
The Lima 2019 Pan Am and Parapan Am Organising Committee, led by its President Carlos Neuhaus, received the Peruvian delegation for the Youth Parapans. Boccia player Diana del Rosario Rafael Horna was named flagbearer.
“I am very excited about competing at Sao Paulo 2017 and will give the best of myself,” said Horna. Peru will be represented by 12 athletes across six sports: athletics, boccia, goalball, powerlifting, swimming and wheelchair basketball.
The South American country made its Paralympic debut at Heidelberg 1972 and has won three golds, one silver and four bronzes.
Peru have also competed at every Parapan American Games since the inaugural edition in Mexico city, in 1999, winning eight golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.
Over 800 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, from 20 countries will compete in Sao Paulo, with 12 sports being contested: athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
Buenos Aires 2013 attracted more than 600 athletes from 16 countries, who competed across 10 sports. Brazil topped the medal table and 15 countries reached the podium at least once.
Barquisimeto, Venezuela, staged the inaugural edition in 2005, with athletes from 10 countries competing, whilst a total of 14 countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009.
For more information, visit Sao Paulo 2017’s website.