Sixteen medals will be up for grabs on the first day of swimming competition at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games on Saturday (8 August) with Brazilian superstar Daniel Dias launching his campaign to win eight titles.
Four years ago at the Parapan Ams in Guadalajara, Mexico, Dias won a staggering 11 gold medals. He is aiming to further add to his medal collection at Toronto’s CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre, starting with the men’s 100m freestyle S6, one of the seven events he took gold in at last month’s World Championships.
Dias helped Brazil top the swimming medals table in 2011, with the Rio 2016 hosts amassing 85 medals, including 33 golds. On Saturday, Brazil will be optimistic of enjoying success through Felipe Vila Real in the men’s 200m freestyle S14 and Joana da Silva Neves in the 100m freestyle S5. Talisson Glock will also start as favourite in the men’s 400m freestyle S6, but will face a hard race from Colombia’s Nelson Crispin.
The day’s first gold will be decided in the morning session in the men’s 200m individual medley SM11. On paper, it should be a straight contest between Colombia’s Brayan Urbano Herrera and Argentina’s Sergio Zayas.
After winning two world titles last month in Great Britain, Mexico’s Nely Miranda Herrera will be hopeful of further podium success in Toronto. She will go for gold on Saturday, first in the women’s 100m freestyle S4 and then the 50m freestyle S4, an event she won gold in at Glasgow 2015.
Mexico will also be confident of landing gold in the men’s 100m freestyle S4 through Gustavo Sanchez and the women’s 400m freestyle S6 through Vianney Trejo.
The men’s 400m freestyle S7 could be an absolute thriller and the race of the day. Just 0.66 seconds separated Argentina’s Facundo Arregui and Colombia’s Carlos Serrano Zarate at last month’s World Championships.
The USA could pick-up their first gold medals courtesy of Leslie Cichocki in the women’s 200m freestyle S14 and Ahalya Lettenberger in the women’s 100m backstroke S8.
Colombia will be hopeful that Diego Cuesta Martinez can top the podium in the men’s 200m individual medley SM12, whilst Argentina will hope Pipo Carlomango can edge out the USA’s Tom Miazga in the men’s 100m backstroke S8.
Around 220 swimmers from 18 countries will compete in 116 medal events in swimming during the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
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