By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil is registering success after success at this year’s Panamerican Games in Toronto, Canada reaching the third spot in the medal count after six days of competition. The country already has 61 medals with eighteen gold ones, with several from swimming, as well as the first gold medal for Brazil in wrestling.
In swimming, Brazil registered a record night on July 15th with a gold medal in the 4x200m with a Panamerican record time of 7m11s15, another one in 200m freestyle by João de Lucca also registering a Panamerican record time and a third gold for Thiago Simon in breaststroke.
Thiago Pereira won the bronze medal in the breaststroke competition making him Brazil’s record medalist at the Panamerican Games with 21 medals so far. However, the gold medal he had won on July 16th in the 400m medley competition will not be counted. Pereira was disqualified for not having touched the wall with both hands. Gold subseqently went to fellow Brazilian Brandonn Almeida.
Brazil also won gold in the weightlifting competition with Fernando Reis winning the competition for more than 105kg. He lifted a total of 427kg in four attempts. And Joice Silva won the first ever gold medal for Brazil in wrestling with her surprise victory over Yakellin Estornell from Cuba.
Arthur Zanetti had won gold for Brazil in the men’s rings competition, while Isaquias Queiroz won two medals in the canoe competition at the beginning of the week. Furthermore, Brazil won two silver medals in Badminton, as well as a third one in shooting over 25m.
Of the 590 athletes competing for Brazil at the Panamerican Games this year, 123 are part of a support program for sports in Brazil’s armed forces. In judo, twelve of the thirteen medals won by the country came from athletes that are part of the military.
In total, around forty percent of all medals won so far were obtained by athletes in the armed forces. Many of the winners were seen to salute the Brazilian flag, although the Military stated that the salutation was not mandatory. The Brazilian Olympic Committee welcomed the salute as an act of patriotism, without any political connections.
Brazil is now third in the medal count with eighteen gold medals, fifteen silver medals and 28 bronze. First are hosts Canada with a total of 97 medals and 38 gold ones, ahead of the United States with 96 medals of which 34 are gold. Brazil is closely followed by Cuba and Colombia with eighteen and seventeen gold medals, but fewer silver and bronze ones.