“This Games represent a big challenge for me. I learned a lot in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and I believe that now I’m strong enough to make my dreams come true,”
Spanish swimmer Sarai Gascon insists she is delighted with how 2015 has gone, as she heads into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as one of the women to beat in the S9.
Gascon enjoyed a successful IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, retaining her 50m freestyle S9 crown whilst picking up a silver in the 100m butterfly S9, just as she did in Montreal two years earlier.
Reflecting back on her glory in Glasgow, Gascon says that her year could not have got any better. “I’m happy because I’ve been world champion again in one of my best events,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m also satisfied with my result in the 100m butterfly, as I’ve done my personal best since London 2012.
“I think that this year I’ve learnt and improved a lot and that will be very useful to face my events during the 2016 Paralympic Games.”
Heading into her third Paralympics with Rio 2016 less than 12 months away, Gascon’s preparations are going well. But like all world class athletes she is not resting on her laurels and is prepared to go one better and win her first Paralympic gold.
“My goal was to become world champion again. But now I have more ambitious objectives in my events. My aim is to win the Paralympic gold, as it’s the only medal that I don’t have yet. This is my biggest dream.”
Gascon already has two silvers and a bronze from Beijing 2008 and London 2012. And after twice being declared the world champion in the 50m freestyle since 2012, her hopes to go one better look like they could become reality.
The S9 athlete knows exactly what it takes to achieve her dreams this time around.
“This Games represent a big challenge for me. I learned a lot in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and I believe that now I’m strong enough to make my dreams come true,” Gascon concluded.
The next major para-swimming Championships will be the 2016 IPC Swimming Open European Championships in Funchal, Portugal, between 30 April-7 May.
As well as the European titles on offer, it will be the last major opportunity for athletes to qualify for Rio 2016