Heroic triumph for Veronica Hipolito in Sao Paulo

Brazilian sprinter wins Grand Prix gold despite imminent surgery 27 Apr 2018
a female Para sprinter runs for the line

Veronica Hipolito (R) stormed to victory in the women's 100m T38

ⒸDaniel Zappe/CPB/MPIX

Brazil's Veronica Hipolito was the star on day one of the Sao Paulo World Para Athletics Grand Prix as she claimed gold in the women's 100m T38 in 13.50 seconds.

The 21-year-old sprinter announced this week that she is to undergo surgery to remove a tumour in her forehead. But after doctors gave her the all-clear to compete, she will still able to pull off a stunning win despite being restricted in her training.

"This is a very strong and fun competition to take part of. Unfortunately I could not keep up the same intensity in training, but my time was still better than expected", said Hipolito, whose time nonetheless tops the world ranking in 2018.

"As many people know by now, I will undergo a tumour removal surgery again, but giving up has absolutely nothing to do with Veronica Hipolito. I am obviously upset because I am once again interrupting my preparation, but good things happen to those willing to move forward."

It was a fantastic day for home athletes, with two regional records set on Thursday. In the women's discus throw F52, Brazil’s Elizabeth Gomes achieved 14.71m in her last attempt. In the afternoon session, her compatriot Cícero Valdiran Nobre won the javelin throw F57 competition with a 45.18m mark.

In the most anticipated race of the day, home favourite Petrucio Ferreira almost broke his own 100m T47 world record by crossing the line in 10.63. The Brazilian will have another shot at the record on Saturday, as the 100m super-final will feature the eight fastest men at the Grand Prix.

The men's 400m T20 reigning Paralympic champion Daniel Martins also posted a 2018 world ranking-leading time to win his trademark race in 48.29. Fellow Brazilian Mateus Evangelista also shone on the track as he won the men's 100m T37 with a 11.73 mark.

More Brazilian athletes accomplished quality performances in the field, such as Claudiney Batista's throw of 44.74m to win the men’s discus throw F56. World and Paralympic Champion Alessandro Rodrigo also took gold in the shot put F11 with a 12.90m mark.

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix runs until Saturday (28 April). More than 230 Para athletes line up at the event which doubles as the 2018 Loterias Caixa Athletics Open Championships.