Thiago Paulino dos Santos
Santos took up Para athletics in 2013, after a motorbike accident three years’ earlier which resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee.
The F57 Para athlete won shot put gold and discus bronze at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, but finished out of the medals at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The Rio 2016 Games proved equally frustrating with a fifth-place finish in front of his home crowds, but all changed for the Sao Paulo man in 2017.
In April that year the then 31-year-old added 36cm on to his discus F57 world record with a massive throw of 48.04m at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, providing a vital confidence boost in the build up to the London 2017 World Championships.
Santos duly held his nerve in a packed London Stadium and against stellar competition, winning the shot put F57 – the first of two gold medals - on the opening night of competition.
Santos’s third-round effort of 14.31m meant he finished 40cm ahead of his nearest rivals, China’s Paralympic champion Wu Guoshan and Poland’s Paralympic silver medallist Janusz Rokicki.
Eight days later in the discus F57, Santos claimed his second world title after moving up to first place with his penultimate effort of 45.75m.
Santos got the better of defending champion Wu once again, as well as Croatia’s European champion Miroslav Petkovic, sealing the competition with his final effort of 46.58m – the only competitor to throw over the 46-metre mark.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
He and Brazilian footballer Paulo Roberto Falcao have built a friendship since Falcao helped him to buy a knee brace for his prosthetic leg in 2013. Falcao found about him when he played for a local futsal team in Orlandia. "It was a relatively expensive material, and he offered to help me. He didn't even know me. Since then we became friends. We met after I won gold in the F57 shot put at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto. I went to his house in Sorocaba to show the medal, and he received me with a coffee. We talked a lot, and he said that I gained a fan." (globoesporte.globo.com, 25 Oct 2015; lance.com.br, 25 Aug 2019)
|Men's Shot Put F57||Final 1||2015-10-27||7|
|Men's Discus Throw F57||Final 1||2015-10-30||11|
|Men's Shot Put F57||Final Round||2016-09-17||5|
|Men's Shot Put F57||Final 1||2017-07-14||1|
|Men's Discus Throw F57||Final 1||2017-07-22||1|