Alex Portal, supported by Banque Populaire Val de France, is a 19-year-old para-swimming athlete suffering from ocular albinism, a disorder that prevents him from seeing clearly further than one meter.
European vice-champion in 2021 in the 100m backstroke, 400m freestyle, and 200m medley, and bronze medalist in the 100m butterfly, he was hoping to win a medal in butterfly at his first event in Tokyo but finally obtained a fine 4th place.
1 hundredth of a second!
The young swimmer from Saint-Germain-en-Laye (a town northwest of Paris) was the outsider in the 100m butterfly S13 event in which he came 3rd in the last European Championships, behind the swimmers from Belarus and Ukraine.
He finished 4th with a time of 57''13, one hundredth of a second behind the Uzbek swimmer who came in 3rd. This was a disappointment for Alex, who didn't clock up his best time in the race, but a very good ranking for a first-ever participation in the competition!
Looking forward to the next events
He’ll take advantage of Thursday to rest because, on Friday, he’ll be competing in the 400m freestyle S13, a race in which he took 3rd place at the 2019 World Championships in London.
A new event in which he’ll be able to demonstrate his full potential and, hopefully, win a place on the podium!
Photo credit: G. Picout