DILI, 31 october 2023 (TATOLI) – Timorese Athlete, Teófilo Freitas continues to make Timor-Leste proud on the international sports arena, as he won a silver medal in the 1,500 meters athletics event at the Asian Para Games 2023, which took place from the 22nd to the 28th october 2023 at the Hangzhou Sports Park Stadium in China. This medal adds to his collection of medals that he has already won at a number of international sports events.
Teófilo took second place on the podium by finishing the race in four minutes and 21 seconds. Although he lost out to the Indian athlete, he managed to beat competitors from Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.
“For me, the second place is a special prize, especially for people with disabilities,” he told Tatoli.
The 30-year-old athlete said that before taking part in the competition, he had trained individually for three months, as well as training provided by the Paralympic Committee for 45 days.
In an interview with Tatoli, Teófilo Freitas said that, during the event, he faced problems due to the lack of suitable equipment, namely special trainers, as his own are not in good condition, thus hindering his preparation for the competition.
This is the second time Teófilo Freitas has taken part in the ASIAN Para Games, having won two gold medals in the 400 and 1,500-meter races at the 2018 event in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Timorese athlete also took part in the ASEAN Para Games Paralympics in 2017, held in Kuala Lumpur, where he won two gold medals.
In 2019, at the Arafura Games in Darwin, he won the 400-metre race and came second in the 800. He collected a gold and silver medal respectively. From 2020 he didn’t take part in any competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He returned in 2022 to take part in the ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia, where he won three gold medals and as many more in the same competition held last may in Cambodia.
Timor-Leste took part in the Asian Para Games with 11 athletes in athletics, table tennis, and weightlifting.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins