Action at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in São Paulo is due to begin tomorrow ©World Para Athletics Grand Prix

Brazil’s Joeferson Marinho will be among those hoping to make his mark on home soil when São Paulo hosts the second stage of the World Para Athletics Grand Prix over the coming three days.

The T12 sprinter trains alongside compatriot Petrúcio Ferreira dos Santos and the association with the world and Paralympic champion is one which Marinho believes will pay huge dividends in 2019.

"Seeing what Petrúcio has accomplished, where he has got to... it pushes me even more to give my best and to lower my times more and more," said Marinho, who like T47 world record holder Ferreira dos Santos, is coached by Pedrinho Almeida.

"We met for the first time in 2013, when the School Para Games took place in São Paulo.

"Since then we have built a close relationship because we are from the same state, Paraíba.

"Nowadays, I'm fortunate to call Petrúcio a team-mate and he is definitely someone I look up to because of everything he has accomplished."

The first aim Marinho will be seeking to achieve in São Paulo is the qualifying time needed to put himself on the Brazil team for this year’s World Championships in Dubai and next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Joeferson Marinho is a protégé of fellow Brazilian Petrúcio Ferreira dos Santos, pictured ©Getty Images
Joeferson Marinho is a protégé of fellow Brazilian Petrúcio Ferreira dos Santos, pictured ©Getty Images

"The first goal is to qualify for both of them and I'm focused on getting there," said the 20-year-old, who finished last season ranked second in the world behind South African Ndodomzi Jonathan Ntutu.

"I will be in São Paulo for the Grand Prix and that's my first shot at the qualifying times so you can expect a good performance from me. 

"Which athlete doesn't dream of going to a Paralympic Games? 

"Tokyo is my main target and training alongside Petrúcio fuels me so much to get there."

Marinho, who won a bronze medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Nottwil in Switzerland, first became involved in athletics through the Integrated Centre for the Support of Impaired Persons and its sports teacher, Manuel Mendes.

He will get the chance to find out just how fast he is against the world’s best at the state-of-the-art Paralympic Training Centre in São Paulo.

World and Paralympic champion Leinier Savon Pineda of Cuba is also in the field along with fellow Brazilian Fabricio Junior Barros Ferreira, who finished fourth at the 2017 World Championships in London.