First placed Auriol Dongmo of Portugal celebrates after the Shot Put Women Final at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. (Tolga Bozoglu - EPA)

Portugal wins three medals at European Athletics Indoor Championships

Federation celebrates Portugal’s “best participation ever” in the event

Portugal has brought home three medals (two gold and one bronze) from the European Athletics Indoor Championships, held between March 2 and 5 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Portuguese Athletics Federation (FPA) has hailed the country’s performance as the best ever, having matched the three medals won in Toruń in 2021 and Valencia in 1998 but set a new record for athletes making the finals of their respective categories.

“Statistics show that this is the best competition, no matter how we look at it: it was the biggest delegation, with 22 athletes, nine finalists and 41 points,” FPA National Technical Director, José Santos, told Lusa news agency.

Portugal’s two gold medals were won by Pedro Pablo Pichardo (men’s triple jump) and Auriol Dongmo (women’s shot put), while Patrícia Mamona (women’s triple jump) won the bronze.

Eight points are attributed to the winner, seven to the runner-up, six to third place and so on until the eighth-placed athlete receives only one point.

Other notable performances came from Jessica Inchude (women’s shot put) and Tiago Pereira (men’s triple jump), who came so close to winning a medal, having finished in fourth place. Arialis Martínez (women’s 60 metres) finished fifth and Marta Pen (women’s 1,500 metres) was sixth, while Evelise Veiga and João Coelho finished eighth in women’s long jump and men’s 400 metres, respectively.

“We had two fourth places. One (Tiago Pereira) was six centimetres and the other (Jessica Inchude) nine centimetres away (from a medal). We could be talking about five medals or maybe even more, because we had the other finalists as well. I think it was a good result, which puts us among Europe’s biggest forces. We have to be proud of our country,” said José Santos.

Portugal finished sixth in the standings among the 47 participating countries, trailing first-placed Norway, Netherlands, UK and Northern Ireland, Italy and Belgium.

“I am very happy, it is the result of everyone: athletes, coaches, clubs, the federation and the Portuguese Olympic Committee. It was the best performance ever in indoor athletics, even though we are not one of the countries with the best indoor athletics conditions,” Santos added.

The European Athletics Indoor Championships are the biggest indoor event organised by European Athletics.

First held as a championship event in Vienna 1970, the competition was held annually until Glasgow in 1990 and then switched to being held every two years, usually during the first weekend in March.

Lisbon “needs an indoor track”

Despite the celebratory feeling, José Santos took advantage of the occasion to stress the lack of an indoor track in Lisbon.

“Lisbon is one of the few European capitals that does not have an indoor track. The country should think about how (these results) happen with so few conditions,” he said.

By Michael Bruxo

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