By CHRIS WRIGHT
Tavira hosted the World Indoor Cycling Championships, a first for Portugal, at the weekend.
Young athletes from 17 countries, including Macau, Japan, Australia, China, Ukraine, Portugal and Germany, demonstrated their skills at artistic cycling and cycle ball.
The main honours in the artistic cycling went to world champions Germany, where this popular sport has more than 10,000 registered athletes.
Kathrin Schultheis and Sandra Sprinkmeier set a new World Record with their near faultless performance in the Women’s Artistic Doubles event to win one of Germany’s five gold medals.
The competitors showed tremendous skill, balance and courage as they performed their six minute routine.
The other main event was Cycle Ball, an exclusively male sport, with teams of two players. The ball is filled with horse hair and can be played with any of the wheels, sometimes reaching speeds of up to 60 kph.
Switzerland and Germany contested the final and it was the Swiss who took the honours with a 4-1 victory. Jorge Botelho, the new President of Tavira Câmara, said: “Our city is proud of its growing reputation in the organisation of important and diverse events.
“Let us hope that more young people will have been captivated by these exciting sports.”