At Tarragona 2018, the Portuguese mission won a total of 24 medals.
The Portuguese mission which will compete in the Mediterranean Games of Oran’2022 presented itself this Tuesday with “equivalent” expectations and athletes of “similar quality” at the first participation, in Tarragona’2018, where a total of 24 medals were won. been won.
During the presentation ceremony of the 159 Portuguese athletes, from 20 different modalities, which took place in the auditorium of the Parque dos Poetas, in the municipality of Oeiras, the President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal (COP), José Manuel Constantino , and the head of mission, Catarina Monteiro, were the spokespersons for the ambitions of this competition.
“The expectations are equivalent to the previous participation. It is a smaller mission than the previous one, but with a very equivalent level of quality. The expectations are completely in line with the results of the first participation,” Constantino said. .
In Tarragona’2018, in its debut at these Mediterranean Games, Portugal won 24 medals, including three golds – two in triathlon, by Melanie Santos and João Pereira, and another with the obstacle team, in equestrian sports – as well as eight silvers and 13 bronzes.
“Our possibilities increase as the number of countries decreases. We have high expectations, especially after what we experienced in Tarragona, where we achieved a brilliant result in the medal-winning final”, explained Catarina Monteiro.
The head of mission considered that the athletes participating in the event have a “similar quality”, but recalled: “Some of the modalities with medals in Tarragona cannot be present, because they do not even exist in the sports program .which will be very positive surprises”.
The preparation of these Mediterranean Games has come up against a few constraints, such as the high temperature which will be felt in Oran in Algeria, air connection difficulties, which have forced the rental of two charter planes, and also relationship problems with the organizing committee. . , inexperienced in events of this dimension.
In Algeria, there will be 3,360 athletes from 26 countries, and Portugal will be represented in the following sports: handball, athletics, badminton, 3×3 basketball, cycling, fencing, football, artistic gymnastics, judo, karate, amateur wrestling, swimming, petanque, water polo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, hunting and sailing.
Experienced sniper João Costa is the oldest of the Portuguese athletes, assuring they “will give the liter” and that he is a candidate, despite having “excellent” opponents.
“We’re going to do our best. We don’t make promises, because in sport it’s impossible to make promises about something. We’re going to give the liter. We’ll see later, in Algeria, the conditions of accommodation, transport, venue for competitions… We have to fight adversity and see what happens,” said João Costa, who has participated in five Olympic Games.
On the other hand, the young swimmer Diogo Ribeiro, 17, has recently added achievements and records and leaves for this event dreaming of a podium and reaching new personal bests, which, in turn, could lead him to break national records. .
“These seasons have been good. I have evolved more and more and so has Portugal. I always want to give my best, but we have to keep our heads in the right place and we cannot take victory for granted. “, he said, adding: “There are people who have already been to the Olympic Games and others who have not yet gone, but who are scheduled to go. I hope to be one of them. It’s a great entourage [de natação]with top athletes and it will go well”.
The Mediterranean Games of Oran’2022, in Algeria, will take place from June 25 to July 6, with the Portuguese contingent made up of several Olympians, such as athletes Cátia Azevedo, Vera Barbosa, Tsanko Arnaudov, Tiago Pereira, Lorene Bazolo and Liliana Cá, gymnast Filipa Martins, fencers Joana Castelão, Sara Antunes, João Costa and João Paulo Azevedo, swimmers Ana Catarina Monteiro, Francisco Santos, Gabriel Lopes, Alexis Santos and Tamila Holub and table tennis players Jieni Shao and João Monteiro.