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THIAGO PEREIRA

Thiago Pereira (26 January, 1986) is a Brazilian individual medley swimmer and is among the leading competitors in the world at all distances in the discipline (100m, 200m, 400m).

After having started his winning ways in the pool as a 12-year-old in his home town of Volta Redonda (some 130km from Rio de Janeiro), Thiago’s ongoing success as a teenager attracted the interest of the multisports Minas Tênis Clube in Brazil’s third biggest metropolitan area, Belo Horizonte. Two years later at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, he won his first major international medals by placing second in the 200m IM and third in the 400m IM. A year later, after a fifth-place finish in the 200m IM at the Athens Olympic Games, he leapt to the swimming world’s notice by claiming the 200m IM title at the World Short Course Championships in Indianapolis, also earning a bronze medal at the 100m distance.

2007 proved to be a defining year for Pereira, when he surpassed Mark Spitz’s five gold medal record for a single Pan American Games by hauling in six at the 2007 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Later that year he broke the 200m IM short course world record (1:53.14) in the Berlin leg of the FINA World Cup, and missed the 400m IM world record by barely a quarter of a second. In both the Stockholm and Berlin legs of the 2007 World Cup, he swept all three IM events (100m, 200m, 400m).

Thiago improved on his previous Olympic showing by earning fourth place in Beijing for the 200m IM, and repeated the feat for both the 200m and 400m IM at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. Later in the year, prompted by Elite Team member Oussama Mellouli, Pereira moved to Southern California to train with the USC Trojans’ under coach Dave Salo.

The change was immediately beneficial after two quiet years in terms of major international results – 2010 being anything but quiet, with medals coming from all over the globe. After bronze medals in the 200m and 400m IM at the Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, he ended off his year with a bang by taking the overall title in the FINA/Arena World Cup, winning 20 gold medals at seven meets on three different continents over a period of two months.

Going into the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai with top-3 rankings in both the 200m and 400m IM, Pereira swam the fastest 200m prelim time. Unfortunately, a bout of illness resulted in a sixth-place finish in the final, and prompted him to withdraw from the 400m event.

Having already qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, Thiago will be working hard improve his best Olympic performance, and end up realizing what every swimmer dreams of – an Olympic medal.

Name / Lastname: Thiago Machado Vilela Pereira

Country: Brazil
Place/date of Birth: Volta Redonda (RJ), 26/01/1986

Age: 26
Heigh: 6' 1"
Weight: 169 lbs

Discipline: Ind. Medley
Coach: Dave Salo

TOP ACHIEVEMENTS - INTERNATIONAL MEDALS

2010
Fina Arena Swimming World Cup
Men overall winner

Pan Pacific Games - Irvine
Bronze 400m Ind. Medley
Bronze 200 Ind. Medley

2007
Pan American Games - Rio De Janeiro
Gold 200m Backstroke
Gold 200m Breaststroke
Gold 200m Ind Medley
Silver Medley Relay
Bronze 100m Backstroke

2006
Pan Pacific Games – Victoria
Bronze 400m Ind. Medley

2004
World Championships (SC) – Indianapolis
Gold 200m Ind Medley
Silver 4x100m Freestyle
Bronze 100m Ind Medley
Bronze 100m Ind. Medley
Bronze 4x200m Freestyle