Fifth place at Rio 2016 will be difficult, admits Brazilian Paralympic President
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
October 31 - Andrew Parsons, the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) President, admitted that it will be difficult for his country to finish fifth on the medal table at Rio 2016 but said it remains a goal he is focused on achieving.
Brazil put in an impressive performance at the London 2012 Paralympics to finish in seventh position on the medal table, with 43 medals and 21 golds, two places higher than they did at Beijing 2008.
The highlight came when Alan Oliveira claimed gold in the men's T44 200 metres as he stormed past South Africa's Oscar Pistorius in the closing stages to claim a famous win that caused Pistorius to complain to no avail about the length of his rival's blades.
But despite the nation's success in London, Parsons said there is work to be done to consolidate the performance at home in Rio.
"Brazil had some assertive moments in the London Games," he said.
"The victory of Alan Oliveira is one of them.
"So we continue to work on the fifth place as a reference, but we have to analyse the London Games better.
"We advanced in the two positions that we sought [from ninth to seventh on the medal table] but repeating this feat has become much more difficult because we currently stand behind major powers.
"We are now aware that the frame of reference has changed.
"There is a higher concentration of medals among the major powers and this means that we have to earn a greater number of medals and in a greater number of sports."
Parsons, though, believes that careful planning can help Brazil achieve their lofty goal and he also expects Para-canoeing and Paratriathlon, which will both make their Paralympic debut in Rio, can be strong medal opportunities for the hosts.
"In 2009, after we won the right to host the Paralympic Games, we delivered a plan until 2016," he said.
"Each sport has its own path.
"Each has its own rate of exchange of athletes, coaches, larger investment at its base and support for top athletes.
"For 2016, we will have two new sports in the programme, which are the Para-canoeing and Paratriathlon.
"Brazil has excellent results in the World Championships of both of them, so I believe that the inclusion of these sports in the programme will help us achieve our goal."
July 2012: Brazil will be a force to be reckoned with as its sends 182-strong Paralympic team to London 2012
April 2012: Brazilian athletes enjoy £3 million funding windfall for next two Games
November 2011: Terezinha Guilhermina - Rio 2016 is a chance to show that Brazil is not just a land of football
March 2011: Andrew Parsons - 2,000 days to Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and we are ready to take advantage
July 2010: Brazil sets target of top five at Rio 2016