Home glory as Fernando Pimenta wins two gold medals at world canoe championship in Montemor-o-Velho

Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta made history last weekend after winning two gold medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Montemor-o-Velho, Coimbra district.

The Portuguese athlete finished first in the K1 1000 and K1 5000 races, becoming the new world champion in both categories.
The amazing feat was celebrated by the 29-year-old who stressed all the hard work that he carries out behind the scenes.

“A super athlete is the same as all the others but has rules, discipline and a lot of work behind the scenes,” he said shortly after winning his second medal last weekend.

“There aren’t many secrets in sports. It requires sacrifice, abnegation and giving it your all. We also have bad days, but we have to raise our heads and find energy for fantastic moments like these,” he said.

While he admitted that every medal is special, he said that being a world champion is still not the “cherry on top of the cake”.

“I’m still missing a gold medal at the Olympics,” said Pimenta, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics alongside Emanuel Silva.

At the last Olympics, he finished fifth in the K1 1000 category.

“It made me an even more mature and psychologically stronger athlete, which helped me win these gold medals which also belong to my coach and my national teammates,” he said.

He also highlighted how he won two world titles in 24 hours, a feat that “few can accomplish”.

“In the final metres, I noticed that none of my rivals were going to be able to compete in the (final) sprint. I felt very fresh. It was the moment I thought I was going to win, with my coach to my side screaming and rooting for me.”

Being able to compete in front of a home crowd of thousands of Portuguese also gave him a boost.

“I’m extremely happy. Now is the time to celebrate.”

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Photo: Fernando Pimenta’s Facebook page