Caio Bonfim finishes racewalking contest with best lap time of his life, achieves the 4th place and aims to inspire athletes

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are the great opportunity to make the country’s sports culture better, affirms this 25 year-old racewalker

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Only five seconds put Caio Bonfim, 25 years old, apart from the bronze medal for 20km racewalking at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games: his timing was 1h19min42s, against 1h19m37s from Australian athlete Dane Bird-Smith. “The 4th place is a fantastic result. Of course everybody wants a medal, but to be an Olympic athlete is already a dream”.

Caio says the final lap was the fastest in his career. “In the end, I performed a very strong lap, the best in my life. I gave everything I could and I don’t know if I could manage to do more”, analysed the athlete. “To have the 4h place at an Olympic Games event, in a modality which isn’t popular in the country…We never had a Brazilian among the ten first”.

Having gone to London 2012, according to Caio, was a decisive for this result. “I was a kid, and the rating required to participate was very high. But I needed to be there in order to be here now. London gave me experience. I gathered all of my previous experience for today’s contest.”

Racewalking since childhood

Caio Bonfim, from Sobradinho, in the Federal District, was raised among racewalkers, inspired by his family. His mother, Gianetti, accounted for seven Troféu Brasil titles and eight Copa Brasil de Marcha (Brazilian racewalking cup), but she was never part of Olympic Games. Trained both by her and by his father João Senna, the young athlete gets emotional upon talking about his parents.

“They supported me, invested in me. I represent both of them while performing, because sports are never individual, but rather the result of teamwork”, says the athlete, who remembers having faced prejudice for having chosen this modality of athletics, which demands hip movement. “There wasn’t a day, not a single one in nine years, in which I went to the street to train and didn’t hear cursing and mocking. And there wasn’t a day without their support. I have a wonderful family”.

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