Santiago 2023's Great Moments: Gabrielzinho Wins All Duels Against A. Abarza

They faced each other five times in the pool at the National Stadium, and in all of those instances, the Brazilian came out on top, with the Chilean finishing in second place. Therefore, while Abarza ended up with five silver medals, he couldn't replicate any of the three golds he achieved in Lima 2019.

Sunday, November 26th, 2023.- One of the great duels in Para Swimming at Santiago 2023 was between the Brazilian Gabriel dos Santos, better known as Gabrielzinho, and the Chilean Alberto Abarza, in five events of the S2 male class. 

Abarza entered the pool at the National Stadium Aquatic Center as a triple gold medalist in Lima 2013 but couldn't replicate any of those victories as he finished second behind Gabrielzinho in all five events. 

The first duel was in the 100m backstroke, where the Brazilian took a lead of almost seven seconds over the Chilean. 

Next up was the 200m freestyle, where Gabrielzinho extended his lead even further: 4:05.05 against Abarza's 4:32.84. 

The third final was the 50m freestyle, with Gabrielzinho winning by a 10-second margin. In the 50m backstroke, Abarza finished second exactly with the same time as the Mexican Cristopher Troncoso, so they both shared the silver. 

Finally, in the 100m freestyle, Gabrielzinho secured his fifth gold, and Abarza his fifth silver at Santiago 2023. Nevertheless, Abarza's performance was highly notable, becoming the local para-athlete with the most medals despite not reaching the top of the podium. 

Written by Alejandro Pérez / Santiago 2023 via Photosport 
Photo by Felipe Zanca / Santiago 2023 via Photosport 

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