Thiago Pereira Owns 23 Pan American Games Medals, Most Of Any Athlete In Any Sport

Thiago Pereira
Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

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Brazil’s Thiago Pereira now owns the most Pan American Games medals of any athlete in any sport, picking up his 22nd and 23rd medal of his career tonight in Toronto.

The evening started with a thrilling race in the final of the 200 individual medley, where Pereira was vying for a third-straight Pan Am title in the event. He was denied the gold by countryman Henrique Rodrigues, but his silver medal was good enough to tie Cuban gymnast Erick Lopez for the most medals won at the Pan Am Games. Pereira did backstroke duty in the prelims of the 400 medley relay, and will pick up a gold medal as a result of Brazil’s triumph in the final to own the record outright.

Lopez won his 22 medals across four Pan Am Games, while Pereira’s were earned in five.

Coming into the meet, Pereira had 18 total medals from the 2003, 2007 and 2011 meets. In Tuesday’s prelims, Pereira competed in the 4×100 freestyle relay for Brazil, earning medal number 19 to tie with the great Brazilian swimmer Gustavo Borges. He earned his 20th medal by winning bronze in the 200 breast to earn the distinction of the most swimming medals, overtaking Costa Rica’s Claudia Poll.

Pereira set himself up for the record run with a gold in the 800 free relay to collect medal number 21. He was in great shape to tie the all-time medal record with a dominating win in the 400 individual medley on Thursday. But he was disqualified for an illegal turn, and his appeal was denied.

Pereira also shares the record for the most swimming medals won in one Pan Ams, with eight in 2007. Claudia Poll of Costa Rica accomplished that feat in 1987.

Pereira now turns his attention to the world championships, which starts in two weeks in Russia. He only has two long course world championships medals, taking bronze in the 200 and 400 individual medley races from the 2013 meet.

Thiago Pereira’s Pan American Games gold medals

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Thiago Pereira’s Pan American Games silver medals

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Thiago Pereira’s Pan American Games bronze medals

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