You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Brazilian Phelps' makes Para history

AAP logoAAP 18/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

Brazil's Daniel Dias, the Michael Phelps of the Paralympics, has claimed his 24th medal in the pool to become the most decorated male swimmer in the Games' history.

The 28-year-old is a national hero and a thunderous roar went up from the home crowd in Rio as he secured his fourth gold of the Games in the men's S5 100m freestyle.

Brazil's most successful Paralympic athlete won by more than a body length to bag a hat-trick of titles, having already won in London and Beijing.

Minutes later Dias backed up as part of a bronze medal-winning Brazilian 400m medley relay to take his place in the history books.

The feat eclipsed Australian Matthew Cowdrey's record but is still way off the astonishing 55 medals for the now retired US swimmer Trischa Zorn.

Surrounded by thousands of fans chanting 'Brazil' on Saturday (Sunday AEST), Dias said he'd never heard a louder crowd.

"The whole place was vibrating," he said.

"They were the best days of my life. My family, my kids, my parents, my wife all here and this whole crowd - it was unforgettable."

Born in Sao Paulo state without hands and only one foot, the poster boy of the Brazilian Paralympics has had an incredible campaign.

Dias' celebratory laps around the pool deck have been a carbon copy of American legend Phelps last month, down to the over-the-railing kiss of his son.

The most successful athlete in Olympic history, Phelps finished his career in Rio with 23 gold medals and 28 overall.

Dias said he's honoured to be compared to his hero, but isn't done writing his own name in history.

"He is a great athlete. But I am Daniel Dias and I want to conquer my space and more space for Paralympic sport," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon