Portuguese canoeist Fernando Pimenta has won gold and silver medals at the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships held last weekend in Racice, Czech Republic.
Pimenta finished first in Sunday’s K1 5000m race, three seconds ahead of Germany’s Max Hoff and 13 seconds clear of Belarus’ Aleh Yurenia.
“It’s fantastic,” he told RTP TV after the win.
“This is my first title in an international competition, right after winning a silver medal. This is a day to celebrate. I know the Portuguese always want medals, but nobody wants to win them more than we do,” he added.
The 28-year-old also stressed how he spent “over 200 days away from home” preparing to win a major title, and dedicated his achievement to “all Portuguese and especially the country’s firefighters”.
A day earlier, the Portuguese canoeist had already won a silver medal in the K1 1000m race which was almost too close to call, with Pimenta finishing just a few milliseconds behind German rival Tom Liebsche.
Vítor Félix, president of Portugal’s canoeing federation, praised Pimenta for his feats, describing him as a “super athlete”.