Schoolchildren and Brazilian Para-athletics heroes mark one week to go to Doha 2015

By Nicola Milan from Doha, Qatar, Oct 14, 2015: With just one week to go to the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, multiple Paralympic and World Champions, Terezinha Guilhermina, Alan Oliveira and Johansson Nascimento of Brazil, hosted a session with students at Bilal bin Rabah School on Wednesday.

The Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships are the largest para-sport event ever to come to the Middle East and will be held at Qatar Sports Club from 21-31 October. 1,300 athletes from 100 countries will be competing to be the best in the world and vie for qualifying spots to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Tickets are on sale now at and in Qatar Olympic Committee booths in Villagio, City Centre and Landmark malls. All proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to charity.

Athletes from around the world have already begun arriving in Doha ahead of the World Championships to begin the crucial final stages of their training ahead of the World Championships. Brazilian super-stars Terezinha Guilhermina, Alan Oliveira and Johansson Nascimento took advantage of their early arrival to inspire and engage Qatari schoolchildren in the World Championships. The three athletes hosted a session with the students and answered their questions about para-sport.

Speaking ahead of the World Championships, Terezinha Guilhermina said:
‘These World Championships are very important because they are going to take place in Qatar, in the Middle East, a place where para-sports are not that well known. I believe that after the World Championships new athletes will emerge on the world stage, taking us to places where we haven’t been before. Being able to participate is such a privilege, and hopefully this world event will leave a legacy for Qatar itself and for the Middle East.’

All three athletes will be looking to use the World Championships to qualify for next year’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in a Paralympic Games in front of a home crowd. Arguably the best female para-sprinter the world has ever seen, Guilhermina will face stiff competition from China’s rising star, Cuiqing Liu, currently ranked second in the world and fast improving. Guilhermina has a total of seven World Championship gold medals, and three gold, one silver and two bronze Paralympic medals. The Brazilian sprinter also holds the world record in the 100m, 200m, and 400m T11 events. You can watch her in action on 22nd October at 21:00 in the 100m final and 23rdOctober at 16:00 in the 400m final.

Guilhermina’s compatriot Oliveira competes in the 100m, 200m and 400m T43 events and currently holds the world record for the 100m, and 200m events. The Brazilian, a double-leg amputee, has won three World Championship gold medals, and one gold and one silver Paralympic medals. He will be competing in the 100m T44 on 29th October at 18:18, but before that he will compete in the 200m T44 on 25th October at 16:20.

Nascimento is the reigning 200m T46 World and Paralympic Champion, as well as the 2013 World bronze medallist in the 100m T46 and a Paralympic silver medallist in the 400m T46. He famously proposed to his girlfriend after winning gold at London 2012 by unfolding a written note and displaying it in front of a television camera. You can catch Nascimento on 23rd October in the 400m, 25th October in the 200m and 27th October in the 100m.

Speaking about the school visit, Ameer al-Mulla, CEO of the Doha 2015 Local Organising Committee and Executive Director of the Qatar Paralympic Committee said:

“We are very grateful to the Brazilian athletes for taking the time to come down and host a masterclass with our schoolchildren today. They are some of the best para-athletes in the world and they have really inspired the children to see that it is possible to achieve anything despite your circumstance. We hope that hosting the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships will inspire a new generation of athletes and spread awareness about para-sport.”

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