Stuart Weir wrote this column on the success of Brazil in the sprints, winning the T11 100m for both men and women. This article was written on Nov. 12l
Brazil’s sprint triumph
Brazil, at the time of writing, is third in the medal table with 16 medals (7 gold). That is an excellent legacy of the boost to Para Sport provided by hosting the 2016 Paralympics.
Their cause was certainly helped by the men’s T47 100m where Brazil created history with a clean sweep- clinching the top three slots on the podium at the Dubai 2019 World Championships. (T47 competitors have a below elbow or wrist amputation or equivalent).
Petrucio Ferreira set the tracks on fire by setting two fastest times in a 100m race of a major Para athletics championships. He made his intentions clear in the morning heats itself with a whirlwind effort to set a world record with a time of 10.42. Ten hours later, he was just 0.02 over that milestone but it was enough to seal the gold with ease.
Finishing second with a time of 10.58s was Ferreira’s countrymate, Washington Junior. Another Brazilian Yohansson Nascimento (10.69) completed the top three for South American nation. Junior and Nascimento’s times were also their personal bests.
“This is a moment of total happiness for country and for us. Top three podium for Brazil and all three of us qualified to Tokyo 2020, we can’t ask for more,” an ecstatic Ferreira said.
“It is a dream coming true for me, it was a hard race but I really wanted to give my best. Now, with all three getting medals, I can’t be happier,” he added.
Another gold on Tuesday evening for Brazil came through Jerusa Geber dos Santos (11.80) in the women’s 100m T11*. The result would have been a world record if was not for the 2.3 m/s tail wind – above the 2 m/s limit for a time to be registered as a record.
Sometimes pictures of the end of a race make you wonder if the athletes were attending a funeral. These Brazilians left one in no doubt of their feelings.
*The T11 category is for athletes with a visual impairment. A T11 athlete may be entirely without sight, or be able to perceive light, but have no ability to see the shape of a hand at any distance.