Mexican brothers Raul and Juan Gutierrez made history on Tuesday (21 March), by becoming the two first medal winners at the 2017 Youth Parapan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with outstanding performances in the pool.
Raul took gold in the men’s 100m freestyle S6, just ahead of his brother Juan.
“It feels great to win this race but even more to share the podium with my brother,” said Raul.
A large number of local public school students attended the Brazilian Paralympic Centre to witness the sporting action, creating a fantastic carnival atmosphere.
Another of the day’s highlights was the football 5-a-side South American derby between rivals Argentina and Brazil. The former won thanks to a goal scored by Nahuel Lopez. The hosts missed two penalties in the last three minutes, wasting the opportunity to level the score. In the other match Colombia defeated Mexico 5-1 to leads the standings with Argentina.
Track athlete David Enrique Pleitez gave El Salvador the first gold medal at a Youth Parapans in history, in the men´s 100m T37 U20 race.
Colombian powerlifters shined in the men´s events, with Carlos Yahue in the up to 54kg and Danny Arana in the up to 65kg topping the podium. Mexico dominated the women´s events, with Rangel Valadez (up to 86kg) and Fatima Castellanos (up to 50kg) winning gold.
Brazil came out strongly in goalball, with both the men’s and women’s teams winning their first games 10-0 against Argentina and Colombia respectively. In the women´s sitting volleyball event, Colombia sprang a surprise hammering Brazil 3-0, whilst Venezuela defeated Dominican Republic 3-0.
The wheelchair basketball competition also delivered some of the best moments of Sao Paulo 2017 so far. Argentina achieved two victories against Chile and Peru. In the other match, Chile beat Peru.
The 12 sports at Sao Paulo 2017 are athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
The 2017 Youth Parapan American Games will run until 25 March and feature a record over 800 athletes from 19 countries.
The last edition at 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.