Yesterday, National Paralympic Committee of Suriname announced that track and field competitor Biondi Misasi and swimmer Sefanja Hankers had qualified to compete in this year’s Parapan American Games scheduled to get underway in August in Toronto, Canada. The pair qualified after competing at the Caixa Loterias Open Championship in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The competition got underway last Tuesday and concluded on Saturday. The Suriname delegation returned home yesterday.
Misasi had some problems at this competition in Brazil as he had an injury in the preliminary rounds the 100 meter event. Despite this, he won bronze for Suriname in the men’s long jump with a jump distance of 6.36 meters.
The visually impaired athletics competitor was Suriname’s sole representative at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where he competed in the F13 long jump, finishing seventh, and in the men’s T13 100 meters where he failed to make it out of the first heat and posted a time of 11.92 seconds. He also represented Suriname at the 2008 Summer Paralympics, where he competed in the men’s T13 100 meter event and finished thirteenth with a time of 11.87.
Hankers swam in the preliminary round of the men’s 50 meter freestyle where he had a time of 33.60. That was fast enough for him to qualify through to the final where he posted a time of 32.81. He swam in the 50 meter breaststroke open event where he posted a time of 40.87, but as there were a lack of competitors, no awards were give in this discipline. The visually impaired swimmer has represented Suriname at the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The efforts of both competitors in Brazil and at the Parapan American Games are part of a broader effort by the National Paralympic Committee of Suriname program “the Road to Rio”, to get more competitors eligible to compete at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.