First Tokyo Paralympic Medal for Lithuania – Swimmer Edgaras Matakas

Lithuanian swimmer Edgaras Matakas won a bronze medal on August 27, the first award for Lithuania in the Tokyo Paralympic Games

Matakas, 22, competed in the he 50m freestyle S11 races, finishing the distance in 26.38 seconds. Brazil’s Wendell Belarmino Pereira won gold in the competition and China’s Dongdong Hua scored silver.

Matakas had finished the distance in 26.18 seconds in the qualifying swim and said he was a little disappointed that he did not match it in the final. “I was hoping very much to swim faster, but when they announced the result… it was disappointing. I think one should be happy, it’s not every day that one wins a Paralympic medal,” Matakas said after the competition.

“In 50m sprint, every tiny mistake matters, every inaccurate stroke has a great effect,” he continued. “The coach said nothing is lost and I’m up for the 2024 Paris Paralympics.”

Matakas also competed in Rio Games in 2016, where he finished 11th. Earlier this year, he won 50m gold in the World Para Swimming European Championships in Portugal, where he achieved his personal best result of 25.86 seconds.

He is the second Lithuanian Paralympic swimmer to win a medal. Kęstutis Skučas scored silver in Athens in 2004. In all, Lithuanian Paralympians have won 38 medals since 1992, compared to the total of 26 medals won at Olympic Games. Earlier this month, Laura Asadauskaitė-Zadneprovskienė took the bronze in modern pentathlon, Lithuania’s only medal at Tokyo Olympics.

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