Portuguese silver medalist Diogo de Matos Ribeiro greets supporters during the award ceremony of the Men's 50m Butterfly final of the Swimming events during the World Aquatics Championships 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan, 24 July 2023. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON

Portuguese swimmer wins historic silver medal

18-year-old swimmer has made history

Diogo Ribeiro has just become the first Portuguese swimmer to ever win a medal at the World Aquatics Championships, which are taking place in Fukuoka, Japan until July 30.

The 18-year-old swimmer won the 50m butterfly silver medal by finishing second in the final with a time of 22.80 seconds, behind Italy’s Thomas Ceccon (22.68) and ahead of France’s Maxime Grousset (22.82).

I have no words, I still can’t believe it,” he said, cited by the Portuguese Swimming Federation.

Ribeiro’s achievement is all the more impressive considering this is his first participation in the World Aquatics Championships. He has already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, and 100 butterfly events) and many believe he has a very real opportunity to become the first Portuguese swimmer to win an Olympic medal.

Up until now, the best result for a Portuguese swimmer in the World Championships had been Alexandre Yokochi’s 5th place in the 200m breaststroke in Madrid 1986, while Ana Barros was another finalist in Perth 1991, finishing 8th in the 50m backstroke.

By Michael Bruxo

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