Portugal’s first swimming world title has been won by Diogo Ribeiro
Diogo Ribeiro has become the first Portuguese swimmer to win a world title after claiming the gold medal in the men’s 50m butterfly at the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships.
His historic feat came in Monday’s final despite a slow start, which he made up for with a powerful finish to the wall in 22.97 seconds.
Ribeiro, 19, revealed just moments after his win that the prospect of becoming a world champion had left him unable to sleep the night before.
“When I touched the wall and watched the time and I saw I was first, I got a feeling that I had never ever felt before,” he said.
“This medal goes to my country, my staff, my family, my girlfriend who’s here supporting me… it means that we all can do it, we just have to think big and always think that everything is possible.
“I can’t believe that I’m a world champion and that the national anthem of Portugal will sound for me, for the first time ever,” Ribeiro added.
The teenage sensation has already been widely congratulated by Portugal’s highest figures, including Portugal’s President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who highlighted the athlete’s “historic achievement for national swimming.”
Portugal’s outgoing Prime Minister, António Costa, has also showered the young champion with praise, stressing how he continues to “make history with national colours.”