Brazil’s Romario Diego Marques hopes to complete his medal collection by winning Paralympic gold in goalball at Rio 2016.
During a glittering career, the 26-year-old three-time Paralympian has won a number of medals, including the 2014 world title and gold at the 2011 and 2015 Parapan American Games. Now he aims to win the biggest prize of all on home soil.
“Hopefully, a gold medal is waiting for us in Rio,” he said. “That is the only thing missing in my career and I want to get it done this year.
“It is a dream for any athlete to take part of a Paralympic Games edition in his home country. A lot of athletes would like to be in my position right now, so I really have to value this fact.”
At his first Paralympics in Beijing in 2008, Brazil failed to medal, but at London 2012 the team performed admirably winning silver after losing out to Finland in the gold medal match.
Following a world title win in 2014, Brazil continued their preparations for September’s Paralympic Games by winning gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games last August.
“We had already claimed the gold medal in Guadalajara, but it was a great feeling anyway,” said Marques who finished the competition in Toronto with 13 goals.
“We focus mainly on the Paralympic Games, but we dedicated a lot in order to get that medal. It was also great to mentor the young players as well.”
Although it is likely the Paralympic hosts will face the USA again in Rio, along with defending champions Finland, the Brazilian has said he is looking forward to playing Turkey.
“That is a team we have not beaten yet, so I am pretty excited to play against them and pull this one off,” said Marques who also identifies Lithuania as a potential threat.
“I think when you play at the Paralympics you just cannot choose a main opponent.
“There will be 10 great teams, so you have to be ready, with your defensive system ready.”
Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on paralympic.org. Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.