Vinicius Rodrigues delivered the first telling blow in the fight to become world champion later this year with a brilliant new world record* on the opening day of the Sao Paulo World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Brazil.
The 24-year-old put on a superb show in the men's 100m T63, clocking 11.95 seconds to remain the only individual in his class to break the 12 seconds mark.
"I worked through a right groin injury in the last couple of weeks, but still managed to run this fast. It shows how good my work with our team has been and how much further we can go," said Rodrigues, who ran a previous best of 11.99 one year ago.
Rodrigues clinched a spot in the Brazilian team for the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games in August and the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in November, where he confidently believes that he can go even faster.
"Even with the world record I can see points where I can improve and adjustments we have to work on going forward," he added.
Brazil's sprint masterclass continued as world and Paralympic champion Petrucio Ferreira won the men's 100m T47 in 10.52, just two hundredths of a second shy of his own world record. Washington Junior finished right behind him in 10.88 seconds.
"I am still not 100 percent but it definitely felt great on the track. I know where I am right now and I am confident it will only get better as the year progresses," said Ferreira.
There was a fast field too in the men's 100m T12 as three Brazilians broke the 11-second mark, pushing Cuba’s Paralympic champion Leinier Savón Pineda (11.04) down to fourth place. Kesley Josue won in 10.84, followed by Joeferson Marinho (10.87) and Fabricio Junior (10.94).
Tascitha Oliveira reinforced her place at the top of the women's 100m T36 rankings as she ran 14.01. Edson Pinheiro followed suit and delivered a career-best 11.08 in the men's 100m T38.
Around 340 athletes from 17 countries are competing at Sao Paulo's World Para Athletics Grand Prix. Competition continues until Saturday and full results can be found here
*World record subject to ratification by World Para Athletics