A milestone for many athletes to return to competition after about a year and a half, due to the new coronavirus pandemic (covid-19), the selection that the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) held to define the athletics selection for the Tokyo Paralympics ( Japan) was very demanding. To reach the indexes, it was necessary that athletes who were not yet guaranteed in the Games achieved results that would place them, on average, among the top three in the world in their respective competitions.
“We understood that [o resultado da seletiva] it was very positive and fruitful. We are at a very difficult time for any type of event. We formatted the process with coaches and clubs so that another opportunity was possible [de obtenção de índice] eligible athletes. Some have been without an event since March of last year. We knew that new athletes would emerge and that some could improve their brands. That happened and it was important. We had a great and notable evolution in the areas of throwing and throwing”, affirmed the assistant technical director of the CPB, Jonas Freire, to Brazil Agency.
Another index in the long jump ✅
— Brazilian Paralympic Committee – CPB (@cpboficial) June 19, 2021
Brazil is entitled to 54 places in Tokyo in Paralympic athletics. Thirteen were guaranteed to Brazilian gold medalists at the Dubai World Cup (United Arab Emirates) in 2019. Another seven athletes became eligible to compete in the Games for having reached the index in tournaments ratified by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) between August 30, 2019 and the last day of June 19.
At the CPB selective, held at the Paralympic Training Center, in São Paulo, there were 34 places in dispute. In all, 122 athletes participated (including those guaranteed) and eight new athletes achieved results, which have yet to be approved by the IPC, to also integrate the delegation. The remaining 26 vacancies will be filled by the world ranking. The criteria must include names such as sprinters Alan Fonteles, Paralympic champion in 2012 and third in the world in the T62 class, or Vinícius Rodrigues, world record holder in the 100 meters in the T63 class and leader of the category ranking. Both compete among leg amputees.
Of the eight novelties among those able to Tokyo, two (Fábio Bordignon, from the T35 class, and Ricardo Mendonça, from the T37, both for athletes with cerebral palsy) are sprinters, who reached the rates between the 8th and 12th of this month, in the first part of the selective. The others qualified reached the marks in the second period, from 15th to 19th of June, in the jumping, deep, mid-distance and field disputes (throwing and launching).
It’s too much emotion!
— Brazilian Paralympic Committee – CPB (@cpboficial) June 17, 2021
“[A convocação] is closing at the end of this month. Let’s assess which athletes will [a Tóquio]. We are very competitive in Brazil in some races, especially the speed ones in the T11 classes [baixa visão] and T47 [amputados de braço abaixo do cotovelo]. According to the regulations, we can only have three athletes from the same country in a competition”, explained Freire.
In fact, both in the women’s T11 and in the men’s T47, Brazil has three of the five best brands on the planet for the 100 meters. Among the women, they are Jerusa Geber (first), Lorena Spoladore (third) and Alice Correa (fourth), and Jerusa is confirmed at the Games for being world champion in 2019. Among men, Lucas de Sousa is fifth and there is a green-and-yellow one-two at the top, with current Paralympic and world champion Petrúcio Ferreira at the top, followed by Thomaz Ruan, just 19 years old and silver medalist in Dubai. The two are the only ones in the category with a time below 11 seconds in the competition ranking.
“We had a big renewal from Rio de Janeiro to here, with athletes who are still very young, but already have international experience. Thomaz was runner-up at the age of 17. We have Gardenia [Félix, quarta melhor do ranking da classe T20, para esportistas com deficiência intelectual], 17 years old, who was in the World Youth Championship. Does not mean that this [renovação] directly influences the medal, but you understand that you have a long-term group to dispute them”, highlighted the CPB leader.
Exit from the women’s 400m race! ♀️
Jardênia Silva (T20) completes the lap in 58s19 and breaks Adriana Jussara Dutra’s Brazilian record of 1min02s44, set in 2011.
— Brazilian Paralympic Committee – CPB (@cpboficial) June 10, 2021
Athletics is the modality in which Brazil won the most Paralympic medals: 142, 33 of which in Rio 2016 alone, representing just over 45% of the country’s total podiums at the event. At the 2019 World Cup, the Brazilian delegation was in second place overall, with 39 medals (14 gold).
“Obviously, by the scenario [pandemia], it’s a difficult time to celebrate, especially in our country. But it’s an important event, so we hope to bring some inspiration to those who will follow us from a distance. Regarding results, we are confident that Brazil will have an excellent result. Athletes and coaches have been working hard, each within their limitations, even as a result of the pandemic. We have strongly respected this. It could be a Paralympic of surprises. Just as other countries don’t know how we’ve worked for the past two years, we don’t know about them either, just when we get there. Many surprises and many new names can appear”, projected Freire.
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