19 PARA ATHLETES THAT STOOD OUT AT LIMA 2019
The stars of the Americas shone at the Parapan American Games, but there were also new talents that will amaze us all in the next Paralympic cycle.
Lima 2019 awarded over 1500 medalists throughout the 11 days of the largest multi-sports event in the continent. We still get a feeling of nostalgia when we remember the best Parapan American Games in history, in which spectators witnessed the high competition level of the great stars and new talents in the Americas.
The best Para athletes are listed below:
1. Omara Durand (Cuba) Para athletics T12
The fastest woman of the Paralympic movement made history at Lima 2019 after winning three gold medals at the Parapan American Games for the third time in a row. The Cuban athlete earned the victory in 100, 200 and 400 m. Besides, she broke the Parapan American record in 400 and 200 m events (she even did it twice in the latter).
2. Petrúcio Ferreira (Brazil) Para athletics T47
The Brazilian Para athlete arrived at Lima with two world records in 100 and 200 m, and he did not disappoint at all. He claimed the gold in 100 and 400 m and a silver in mixed relay, repeating his success of Toronto 2015. In the 100 m, he even surprised us all by setting two new records on the same day.
3. Daniel Dias (Brazil) Para swimming S5
The best Para swimmer of all times took home six gold medals at Lima 2019. These new victories added up to the total of 33 golds he has obtained along his four Parapan American Games finals. So far, Dias has won 77 gold medals in his career, including 14 Paralympic medals and 30 world titles. He is, for sure, a true sport legend.
4. Gustavo Fernández (Argentina) wheelchair tennis
The best wheelchair tennis player of the world circuit obtained his third consecutive gold medal in the Games and his second gold in doubles. This way, “Gusti” finished the year on a high note, as he arrived in Lima as the champion of three Grand Slam tournaments: the 2019 Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. What a legend!
5. José de Jesús Castillo (Mexico) Para powerlifting
The best Para powerlifter of the Americas rose to the top at Lima 2019 after winning the gold in the -107 kg weight class, his fourth consecutive title in the Games. “Chuy” has now a secure a spot among the top Para powerlifters in this discipline.
6. Amalia Pérez (Mexico) Para powerlifting
She snatched her fourth gold medal at the Parapan American Games in the -55 kg weight class, breaking the Parapan American record. The Mexican is also a five-time Paralympic medalist.
7. Yanina Martínez (Argentina) Para athletics T36
She repeated her success of Toronto 2015, by winning the gold in both 100 and 200 m in Lima. Her next challenge is to defend the 100 m title she claimed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
8. Sara Vargas (Colombia) Para swimming S6
The new Para swimming talent of our continent earned four golds and one silver at just 12 years old in her first major event ever. Also, she broke five Parapan American records, becoming one of the best Para athletes in the Americas.
9. Phelipe Melo (Brazil) Para swimming S10
He crowned himself as the Para athlete with the most medals at Lima 2019, with seven golds and one bronze.
So far, he has collected 22 medals in three Parapan American Games.
10. Nelson Crispín (Colombia) Para swimming S6
He broke his own record by taking home five golds, one silver and one bronze, surpassing the number of medals achieved in Toronto (three golds, two silvers and one bronze medal). What is more, he broke the 100 m breaststroke world record.
11. Carlos Serrano (Colombia) Para swimming S7
At Lima 2019, he surpassed his Toronto 2015 achievements with seven medals (five golds, one silver and one bronze), thus breaking five Parapan American records.
His next challenge is to go beyond the three Paralympic medals he obtained at Río 2016 (one, gold, one silver and one bronze).
12. Naomí Somellera (Mexico) Para swimming S7
At age 20, she showed us all she is at the top of her game, by collecting six gold medals at Lima 2019.
This way, she surpassed her Toronto 2015 performance, where she picked up two medals.
13. Alberto Abarza (Chile) Para swimming S2
The Chilean flag-bearer claimed three golds and two silvers, setting the Parapan American record in four events.
14. Wimana Stewart (Trinidad and Tobago) Para athletics F43
She snatched two gold medals, breaking the Parapan American and world record in discus throw, as well as the Parapan American record in javelin throw twice.
15. Matías Pino (Chile) Wheelchair tennis TT6
He claimed two Parapan American titles and helped his country achieve its best performance in the Games.
16. Clara Brown (United States) Para cycling C1-C3
She won three golds (one on track and two on road) and one bronze in track cycling, thus breaking three Parapan American records.
17. Fabricio Barros (Brazil) Para athletics T12
To everyone’s surprise, he earned the victory in the 100 m event, defeating favorites such as Noah Malone from the USA and Leinier Savón from Cuba. Besides, he broke the 100 m Parapan American record in his category with a time of 10.97.
18. Nicholas Bennett (Canada) Para swimming S14
At age 15, he is the new Canadian Paralympic star, and he made it clear to everyone by taking three gold medals and one silver in Lima 2019. He is one of the most well-rounded Para swimmers in the continent, as he has won medals in all four styles.
19. Thiago Paulino (Brazil) Para athletics F57
He broke the world and Parapan American shot put record all in one day, collecting an epic gold medal for his country.