Linda Pérez & Lisbeli Vera are Venezuela’s First Two Gold Medalists at Tokyo Paralympics (Photos)

In just one hour and under heavy rain, two gold medals were achieved by Venezuelan Paralympic athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games—for the first time in history. Runner Linda Pérez earned first place in the 100 meters of athletics, category T11, setting an impressive time of 12.05 seconds. Minutes later, Lisbeli Vera ran in the final of 100 meters of athletics, category T47, and in a spectacular and exciting photo finish, with a time of 11.97 seconds—the same time as US’s Brittni Mason—Vera was awarded the gold medal. As a result Venezuela’s national anthem rang out twice on the Paralympic podium in one journey, for the first time in history.

At seven in the morning, Venezuela time, Linda Pérez ran with her guide, Álvaro Cassiani Herrera, in the final of the T11 category, which includes people with visual disabilities, who are completely blind or perceive light, but do not have the ability to see the shape of a hand at any distance.

Linda Pérez and her guide, Álvaro Cassiani Herrera

The young Pérez competed against China’s Liu Cuiqing, and Brazil’s Jerusa Geber Dos Santos and Thalita Simplicio Da Silva. In the race, Dos Santos let go of her guide and did not finish, and Da Silva was disqualified, so the Venezuelan got on the podium accompanied only by the Cuiging, who finished in second place.

Linda Patricia Perez Lopez and her guide, Álvaro Cassiani Herrera, running the 100 meters T11 and winning gold (Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
TV capture
Television capture
Television capture
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Cassiani Herrera, from Venezuela, celebrate after the victory this Tuesday. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

 

Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Cassiani Herrera, from Venezuela, in action this Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa
Linda Patricia Perez Lopez and her guide Alvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela. (Photo: Ulrik Pedersen / NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela. (Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela, celebrate this Tuesday (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela. On the right, Cuiqing Liu and his guide Donglin Xu from China (Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Cassiani Herrera (right) and Silva Simplicio da Silva with their guide Felipe Veloso da Silva in action. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela, pose with their gold medals this August 31, 2021 (Photo: Christopher Jue/Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Pérez López and her guide Álvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela, pose with their gold medals on August 31, 2021. (Photo: Christopher Jue/Getty Images)
Linda Patricia Perez Lopez and her guide Alvaro Luis Herrera Cassiani, from Venezuela, pose with their gold medals on August 31, 2021 (Photo: Christopher Jue/Getty Images)

RELATED CONTENT: Venezuelan Athlete Lisbeli Vera: ‘I Know it is Difficult, but I Want to Bring Three Medals Home’

Lisbeli Vera and her spectacular victory
Minutes later, it was the turn of Lisbeli Vera, who ran in the final of the 100 meters of athletics in the T47 category (for athletes with an amputation or deformity in an upper limb).

In the qualifiers, held earlier (Monday night, Venezuela time), Vera managed to finish first in the race along with seven other competitors, setting a masterful time of 12.14 seconds. In the other qualifying round, the US athlete Brittni Mason finished first with 12.07 seconds—a difference of only seven hundredths of a second between the two—which already portended an epic duel.

And so it was. This Tuesday morning, Venezuela time, under the incessant rain in Tokyo, the eight competitors threw themselves into the ring. Mason dominated the competition for the first 50 meters with Vera on his heels just inches away.

From left to right: Alicja Jeromin of Poland, Brittni Mason of the United States, and Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade of Venezuela compete in the 100m athletics final – T47 on August 31 (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

However, in the last few meters Lisbeli accelerated and both achieved an extremely emotional photo finish that had yet to be seen in the games, as both finished with a time of 11.97 seconds.

Brittni Mason (left) of the United States and Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade of Venezuela cross the finish line on August 31, 2021 in the T47 100-meter athletics final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Lisbeli Vera (right) in close competition with American Brittni Mason, whom she only beat by milliseconds. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand via Getty Images
Television capture

It took several tense minutes of deliberation by the judges before the photograph finally determined that the winner had been the Venezuelan.

Television capture
Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/Picture alliance via Getty Images
Photo: Agencies
Television capture
Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade, from Venezuela, poses with her gold medal this August 31 in Tokyo (Photo: Christopher Jue/Getty Images)
Television capture
Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade after winning this August 31. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/via Getty Images)
Photo: Social media networks
(Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
The winner, Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade (right) of Venezuela and the bronze medalist, Deja Young (left) of the United States, celebrate after the competition this Tuesday (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

 

RELATED CONTENT: Clara Fuentes Wins First Medal for Venezuela at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

In total, Venezuela has now earned six medals in these Paralympic Games to date.

• This August 31, the Venezuelan Luis Felipe Rodríguez Bolívar achieved a silver medal in the men’s T20 athletics final, by running the 400 meters in 47.71 seconds.
• Hours earlier, Venezuelan Alejandra Pérez achieved third place in the 400-meter final, T12 category T12.
• On August 28, Lisbeli Vera won a silver medal in the 400-meter track and field competition, category T47.
• On August 26, the athlete Clara Pérez won the first medal for Venezuela in these Paralympic Games, by lifting 97 kilograms in weightlifting (paralympic powerlifting), in the -41 kilogram division.

At these Paralympic Games, as in the prior edition at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, six medals have now been achieved. However, the Tokyo Games are not yet complete. In any case, the most salient news was that, beyond the medals obtained, it marked the first time that Venezuela’s national anthem, Gloria al Bravo Pueblo, was heard twice in one day.

With the gold medal added to the silver she had already won, Lisbeli Vera became—like Yulimar Rojas in the Olympic competition—the best Venezuelan Paralympic female representative in history, surpassing the judoka Naomi Soazo, who earned a gold in London 2012.

Another highlight of the day was the silver obtained by Luis Rodríguez in athletics 400 meters, category T20, the first to achieve it in that distance for the country. Venezuela’s Alejandra Pérez also brought home the bronze in the athletics 400 T12 event.

Thus, alongside paralympic powerlifter Clara Fuentes, Venezuela’s six Paralympic medals can be added to the four achieved in the conventional Olympics to bring to 10 the total in this cycle, despite being blockaded.

Venezuela is currently in box 32 of the Paralympic medal table, with its two golds, two silvers and two bronzes. China leads with 62 golds, 38 silvers and 32 bronzes for a total of 132 medals.

It should be noted that four Paralympic diplomas were also achieved in one day, by Greilys Villarroel, Belkis Mota, Wendis Mejías, and Norkelys González.

In the Latin American region, Venezuela is represented in the medal table behind Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia so far in Tokyo 2020. Historically, Venezuela has accumulated 23 medals in the 10 Paralympic Games in which it has participated, including three golds, seven silvers and thirteen bronzes.

 

Featured image: From left to right: Alicja Jeromin, from Poland; Brittni Mason, from the United States, and Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade, from Venezuela, compete in the final of athletics 100m – T47, this August 31 (Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images).

(Alba Ciudad + Alba Ciudad)

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/JRE/SL

 

 

 

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