Parapan American Games
23 August - 1 September

Lima 2019: Mexican duo Diego Lopez and Gustavo Sanchez strike again

Fourth gold takes country to its best swimming result at Parapan Am Games 31 Aug 2019
a male Para swimmer holds up his gold medal
México colecciona medallas en Lima 2019 como nunca antes en su historia
ⒸLima 2019
By NSLima2019 and APC

Not even at their home Parapan Am Games in 1999 and 2011 did Mexico win as many golds as it has now done at Lima 2019. 

The Mexican national anthem has already played 22 times at the Centro Acuatico in the Peruvian capital, eight of those thanks to Diego Lopez and Gustavo Sanchez.

On Friday, both Mexican swimmers won their fourth golds.

“Mexico’s participation has been incredible. We have already beaten our gold medal record from four years ago. To be of this group makes me rally proud and happy,” Lopez said, after his win in the men’s 50m freestyle S3.

Countrymate Marcos Zarate finished with silver and Colombia’s Cristobal Rincon with bronze.

Two-time Paralympic champion Gustavo Sanchez was the winner in the men’s 50m breaststroke SB3, followed by another compatriot, Jesus Hernandez. Argentina’s Franco Gomez took bronze.

And there is more to come on Saturday, the final day of swimming in Lima.

“I’m feeling better every day and for tomorrow [Saturday], my strongest event, I feel I’ll be even better,” said Lopez, who will compete in the men’s 50m backstroke S3-S4.

For others, like 14-time Paralympic champion Daniel Dias, Friday marked their last day in Lima. 

The Brazilian claimed his 33rd gold in Parapan American Games and was responsible for one of the most emotional moments of the day when he could not hold back his tears during the men’s 200m freestyle S4-S5 medal ceremony.

“If I said I dreamed about winning so many gold medals when I started swimming all those years ago then I’d be lying,” he said.

Now Dias will go for more gold at the World Para Swimming Allianz Championships that kicks off in London, Great Britain, on 9 September.

“I’ll swim four individual races in London and two relays, but I know it is going to be a lot harder for me," Dias added.

Brazil had another successful journey in the pool including more double podium for the Carneiro and Rocha Matera families.

This time, Beatriz Carneiro finished ahead of her twin sister Debora in the women’s 200m individual medley SM14. 

Douglas Matera beat his brother Thomaz in the men’s 100m butterfly S12-S13 final.

With just four events of the day left, the Colombian national anthem had yet to be heard on Friday in the Centro Acuatico. But by the end of the session, it was played four times in a row.

Teenage talents Maria Paula Barrera and Sara Vargas, the youngest athlete at Lima 2019 at only 12 years old, added more gold to their amazing week in Peru.

Barrera won the women’s 400m freestyle S10, while Vargas dominated the 50m freestyle S6. 

Nelson Crispin took this third gold in the men’s 50m freestyle S6 while Carlos Serrano won his fourth gold in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7.

All medallists and results can be found on the Lima 2019 page.