Brazilian twins Beatriz and Debora Carneiro are targeting medals and records at the upcoming International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Swimming Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
The 19-year-old pair are both swimming for honours as they take on more than 160 other athletes from 20 countries from 27 November – 3 December.
“I want to prepare for the World Championships and get a medal at both World Intellectual Impairment Sport Championships and at the World [Para Swimming] Championships,” Beatriz said.
Débora agreed: “I want to go to the podium, win medals and break many records.”
The duo are not the only twins to compete at the highest level in para sport. Hungary’s Bernadett and Illona Biacsi are Paralympic runners in the T20 classification.
Beatriz and Debora both started swimming at the age of 13. They instantly fell in love with the sport and just six years later, Beatriz represented Brazil at her home Paralympic Games at Rio 2016.
The pair confess to a sibling rivalry which pushes them to the limit: “It’s cool! She gives me strength and I give her strength as well. I beat her records and she beats mine…it is an inspiration!” Beatriz said.
For Debora, whilst admitting competing against her sibling makes her nervous, there are just two rivals she keeps an eye on: “The clock and my sister.”
Beatriz and Debora are both targeting the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as the next major milestone in their careers.
But Debora has even higher hopes: “I want to conquer the world!”
The 2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Swimming Championships are the biggest competition for swimmers with an intellectual impairment since Rio 2016. They are also the most important stop on the road to the 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Brisbane, Australia.
The Opening Ceremony takes place on 28 November before competition starts on 29 November.
The Championships will also be the first to feature new trial eligibility groups for Down syndrome and autism.
About World Intellectual Impairment Sport
World Intellectual Impairment Sport represents more than 300,000 athletes with intellectual impairments around the world. We give elite athletes the chance to compete at an international level and on the Paralympic stage. But we cannot continue our work towards the inclusion of the people with intellectual impairments in society without your support.
We are a registered charity and your help can make a big difference. Find out more.