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Messias José Baptista dies

On Sunday, 11 September, at the age of 37, former Brazilian athlete Messias José Baptista died in São Paulo.

Messias had been struggling in a battle against leukemia and had received a bone marrow transplant 3 months ago, but died due to complications.

Baptista, a Triple and Long jumper, was born on 24 May 1968, and his best performances were 16.99A ’96 at TJ, and 7.56 ’93 at LJ. Throughout his career he was coached by Pedro Henrique Camargo de Toledo, and his last competitive year was 2003, where his best result was a wind-aided 16.02m.

He represented Brazil at the 1996 Olympic Games in Triple Jump, were he was 10th at Group B with a 16.45m result. He also competed at the 1997 World Indoor Championships, where he didn’t advance to the final, and was 12th in the 1st Group with a 16.21m performance.

At the regional scene, Baptista obtained the following honours. In 1995 he won the South American title in Manaus with a 16.25 mark. In 1996, he was victorious at the Ibero-American Championships in Medellín, with his best result of 16.99m. In 1997, he took the National title (Troféu Brasil) with 16.69m, and in 2001 he was second to Jadel Gregório at the South American Championships, also in Manaus, with 16.23.

His remains were buried at the Piracicaba Cemetery in the morning of 12 September. Rest in Peace.