"It was surprising because it is the first competition of the year and we are still in April. Many of them will still reach their peaks but have already swam that fast. It was really encouraging."
Swimmers closed the second World Para Swimming World Series in Sao Paulo on Sunday (23 April) by adding to their podium hauls, highlighted by another great performance from hosts Brazil.
All finals were run as multi-class and a percentage applied to determine the race winners.
Multiple Paralympic and world champion Daniel Dias delivered a perfect comeback to the pool by continuing his winning form in the men’s 50m freestyle.
Dias (S5, 99.42 per cent) was joined on the podium by Rio 2016 silver medallist teammate Phelipe Rodrigues (S10, 97.60) in second. The pair had also finished in the top three of the 100m freestyle on Saturday (22 April), with Dias winning followed by Rodrigues.
Chile’s Alberto Caroly Abarza Diaz (S2, 97.57) was one of the only non-Brazilian swimmers to medal on Sunday, taking third.
Diaz then went onto to win the men’s 200m freestyle with a new Americas record of 4:14.49. Brazil’s Felipe Caltran (S14, 93.95) added to his 100m butterfly win from Saturday with second. His teammate Andre Luiz Bento Da Silva Filho (S14, 85.32) completed the top three.
The Rio 2016 hosts revelled in a further four podium blockouts on Sunday.
Having qualified for the World Championships with her heat swim, Regiane Silva (S11, 87.12) converted it into victory in the women’s 100m backstroke.
S12 swimmer Raquel Viel (83.09) was second and Emyly Santos Silva (S9, 81.43) third.
Regiane Silva (89.02) took her second victory of the day in the women’s 400m freestyle. Cecilia Araujo (S8, 88.21) followed her as Laila Suzigan Garcia (S6, 97.15) was third.
Italo Pereira won his final after a Worlds qualifying performance in the men’s 100m backstroke preliminaries. Pereira (S7, 94.37) touched in to take the win in front of teammates Andrey Pereira Garbe (S9, 94.03) and S10 world champion Andre Brasil (93.51).
Mariana Gesteiro Ribeiro (S10, 94.94) led the women’s 50m freestyle, this time claiming victory ahead of Araujo (94.88) who had won the 100m freestyle on Saturday (22 April). Joana Neves (S5, 93.19) was third.
Brazil’s Caio Amorim Muniz De Oliveira (S8, 95.80) triumphed in the men’s 400m freestyle. Argentina’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games champion Facundo Arregui (S7, 95.46) was second. Brazil found the podium once again courtesy of Matheus Rheine (S11, 91.32).
Rounding off a great day for Brazil was Talisson Glock in the men’s 200m individual medley. Glock (SM6, 92.62) was joined by two of his teammates – Lucas Lamente Mozela (SM9 92.38) and Thomaz Rocha Matera (SM12, 91.06) - in second and third respectively.
Brazilian coach Leonardo Tomasello was pleased with his team’s performance in their opening major meet of 2017, which saw 13 athletes qualify for the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City.
"It was surprising because it is the first competition of the year and we are still in April. Many of them will still reach their peaks but have already swam that fast. It was really encouraging," he said.
There was a podium double for Canada in the women’s 200m individual medley. Samantha Ryan (SM10, 86.77) led the field ahead of Brazil’s Debora Borges Carneiro (SM14, 82.66). Ryan’s compatriot Amber Thomas (SM11, 81.63) was third.
Pictures from the Sao Paulo 2017 World Series are available at the Brazilian Paralympic Committee’s Flickr.
The World Series takes in some of the biggest Para swimming competitions around the world ahead of the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City, from 30 September-6 October.
Next up is Sheffield, Great Britain, which gets underway on Thursday (27 April).
Indianapolis, USA and Berlin, Germany, will then host events between May-July.