Black and from the northeast, Etiene Medeiros becomes the first Brazilian woman to be world champion of swimming; takes gold in the 50-meter backstroke

brazilian swimmer etiene medeiros cleared of doping charges indialivetoday
brazilian swimmer etiene medeiros cleared of doping charges indialivetoday


Note from BW of Brazil: I LOVE it when women that this blog has already previously featured have to be featured again for something amazing that they’ve achieved! That is most definitely the case for swimmer Etiene Medeiros. The multiple-medal winning athlete just entered the history books for her recent gold-medal winning victory in Hungary. Add that to the fact that she is black and from the country’s poorest region, the northeast, and the victory is a big middle finger to those who believe that people like her can’t achieve (see note one). Congratulations Etiene!


Black and from the country’s poorest region, Etiene Medeiros makes history becoming the first Brazilian woman to be world champion of swimming; takes gold in the 50-meter backstroke

26-year-old pernambucana beats Chinese rival Yuanhui Fu with a time of 27s14 versus 27s15 and takes the gold in the 50m backstroke

By Bruno Santana

With her gold-medal winning victory, Etiene Medeiros (center) made history


The swimmer Etiene Medeiros has eternalized her name in the history of the sport, this Thursday (27), in Hungary. It was a long-running duel with Chinese Fu Yuanhui, whom the Pernambuco lost to by 15 hundredths at the Kazam World Cup in 2015. This time, in Budapest, Etiene got the best by only a hundredth and became the first Brazilian woman to get to the top of the podium in Olympic pool competitions.

With this time, Etiene beat the new record of the Americas, surpassing the time of 27s18 that she herself had done this morning – this is also the third best mark in history in the world. Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus took the bronze after finishing the race at 27s23.


“I competed with this Chinese girl in Kazan, and I had another chance to compete with her here again. It was stroke to stroke. In my last 10 meters I always die. I threw my body and arm on arrival and this time I was able to be faster than her,” she said in an interview after leaving the pool.

Etiene already got used to breaking taboos, that in 2008 she became the first Brazilian to go to the podium in world championships, after conquering the silver in the 50m backstroke of Mundial Júnior  (World Junior). In 2014, she was the first woman in the country to be a medalist in a World competition in a short pool, with a gold in the 50m backstroke in Doha, Qatar. In 2015, she won the first women’s gold in Brazilian history at the Pan American Games, in the 100m backstroke in Toronto, Canada.


In the same year, she was runner-up of the 50m backstroke at Kazan, Russia’s long pool World Championship, securing the country’s first female medal in the competition’s history. Last year, she was a two-time world champion in a short pool at the Windsor World in Canada.

The 50m backstroke is not an Olympic event. At the Rio Olympics in 2016, Etiene Medeiros competed in the final of the 50m freestyle and finished in 8th place. In the 100 meter backstroke, which is not her specialty, she finished in 25th place.

Source: Revista Forum


  1. For Americans who may not be familiar with what being a northeasterner means to more economically advanced parts of the country, imagine the image of someone from the hills of Tennessee suddenly moving to New York City. Due to strong, long-running stereotypes, people from northeastern Brazil often face all sorts of negative stereotypes when they migrate to cities such as Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo in search of better opportunities. Northeasterners are thought to be backward, slow, uneducated, poor and are often immediate targets of prejudice simply for speaking with their northeastern accents. For an example of how northeasterners are viewed, consider that many blamed voters from the northeast for the re-election of the nation’s first woman president, Dilma Rousseff, in late 2014.
About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


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